26 June 2013
At What Price a Life?
The family of an avid cyclist have today received the highest ever sum of damages for a fatal CTC claim after pursuing a civil claim against the motorist who killed him.
Although delighted by the sum the family have said it provides ‘little comfort’ and said that while the money will bring them closure and security they will never be able to reconcile themselves with the lenient sentence the motorist received in the criminal courts.
Kenny Lush, 47, was hit by motorist Deborah Hearn while on his way home from work on the A414 between Hatfield and Hertford in May 2009.
Hearn struck the businessman and then left the scene, while Kenny died of his severe injuries. She later handed herself in to police and pleaded guilty to causing the death of the father of four by careless driving. She was spared a jail sentence by the judge in March 2010 as she was heavily pregnant and was instead banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay £2,500 costs. Since then the CTC and Slater and Gordon have since worked with the family to pursue damages from Hearn’s insurers.
His mother Karin Lush said, “No amount of money can ever bring my son back. We have lost a son, husband, father and brother and we don’t feel like the driver that hit him has been held accountable in any way. She will probably have no idea how much we have gone through and how the family have suffered financially as a result of her actions that night.
“She killed him and drove off, there is no way we will ever get over that, but it is some relief to know that his family and children will be looked after and have some degree of security even if they don’t have a father.”
The family were supported by the CTC throughout the process and have been provided with financial aid when needed as well as legal support from cycle injury specialists Slater and Gordon. An annual race has also been set up to raise money in Kenny’s name as he was an active and prominent member of the cycling community.
Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyer Liz Dux said, “I hope the significant settlement brings some sort of closure for them and allows them to have some form of security for the future but nothing can bring Kenny back. Through representing the family since Kenny’s tragic death, I have got to know them very well. I have seen what a tremendous presence he was to the business and how hard it has been for the family to keep the family firm going.
"The most upsetting aspect of this case were the actions of the motorist. The family just cannot reconcile their suffering to her lenient sentence. As a society we have still got the balance all wrong. Hopefully this settlement goes some small way towards lessening the pain the family is suffering.”
Liz Dux is a Practice Group Leader at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have over 1,200 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Halifax, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire.
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