Welcomes Court Decision
Injured carriage driver get compensation from
Countess of Lindsay, from Upper Largo in Fife, has been awarded
compensation of £21,153 in the Edinburgh Court of Session
after a bus owned by Stagecoach sped past her carriage spraying
water over the horses, causing them to bolt and crash head-on into
a car. Lady Lindsay suffered injuries to her arm, ankle, pelvis
and lower back, her carriage was damaged beyond repair, and one
of the horses will not be able to work again.
the Procurator Fiscal decided not to press charges, Lady Lindsay
decided to sue the company for damages herself. During the week
long case, Stagecoach maintained that Lady Lindsay contributed to
the accident. They said she had a duty to keep the carriage and
horses under control.
Hardy, head of Safety for the British Horse Society, said "This
is a wonderful result. Riders everywhere have reason to thank Lady
Lindsay for her courage in fighting this case. It is vital that
motorists understand that passing horses at speed and too close
is a recipe for disaster. Eight riders were killed on our roads
last year, and Lady Lindsay could well have been more seriously
injured. Drivers now need to be aware that they could be successfully
sued for damages if they fail to show consideration."
added: "The British Horse Society is delighted that the Court
did not hold the carriage driver responsible, nor did it agree that
she was not in control because the horses bolted. This could prove
a landmark case."
Lindsay said: "I would ask, on behalf of all who take horses,
ponies and other animals on the road, that drivers take the greatest
possible care when passing. The injuries that can otherwise be caused
are deeply distressing and often disastrous. Most drivers are excellent.
For that I am grateful. Indeed shortly after the accident I expressed
my thanks to the company for the care and attention that many of
their Stagecoach bus drivers had shown over the previous 11 years."
The British Horse Society is an equine welfare charity with 57,000
* The BHS campaigns on behalf of riders and carriage drivers on
* Instigated by the BHS, the DTLR has recently issued a TV "filler"
warning motorists about horses on the roads