25 April 2007
Overtired lorry driver to seek compensation over crash
A long-distance driver who crashed due to being overtired is to sue his former employers after a judge ruled that the company's policy of long working hours was to blame for the crash.
Michael Eyres, 23, suffered back injuries meaning he is unable to walk for the rest of his life after falling asleep at the wheel of his van and crashing on the M1 motorway.
After a court overturned an initial High Court ruling that he had lost control of the vehicle due to using a mobile phone and found that Mr Eyres accident had been caused by overtiredness, he is now able to sue Atkinsons Kitchens and Bedrooms for damages that are estimated to reach up to £1 million.
In particular, Lord Justice Ward criticised the long-hours culture in the company and drew attention to the company boss's catchphrases of 'Eating's cheating' and 'You can sleep when you're dead' as characteristic of the "company's philosophy".