A man whose new bicycle collapsed beneath him, causing him to be thrown to the ground and seriously injure his face, has won £57,500 in an out-of-court settlement.
The 30-year-old painter and decorator from Middlesex was given the bicycle by his girlfriend. Although he had only ridden it on two previous occasions, on the third outing the front suspension and wheel collapsed, causing him to be thrown over the handlebars. He was only travelling slowly at the time and the road surface was even.
The man suffered serious facial injuries in the accident. Four of his upper and three lower teeth were damaged and he also sustained soft tissue trauma. He had to have an operation at a specialist facial injury unit to remove fragments of tooth that had become lodged in his jaw and he was in hospital for three days.
For three weeks after the accident the man experienced considerable difficulty speaking, eating or drinking. He was unable to work for six weeks in all and lost out on a well-paid decorating contract as a result. He has had to undergo a long course of dental treatment and has permanent scarring around his nose and mouth that will require plastic surgery.
It emerged that the bicycle had not been properly assembled by the sports retailer who sold it. The company admitted liability and agreed to a settlement of £57,500 to compensate the man for his injuries and the loss of earnings he suffered.