Accident heirs awarded €256,000

The heirs of a man who died in a Gozo traffic accident in 2009 have been awarded €256,000 in damages after a court dismissed the defendants’ plea that the accident was caused by the victim’s negligence.

Magistrate Joanne Vella Cuschieri presided over the case at the Gozo Courts.

The victim, Renzo Grima, died while he was riding his motorbike to Mġarr. His heirs, Paola Grima and Rose Marie Haber, filed for damages against Paul Camilleri, with Thomas Smith Insurance Agency Ltd also being called into the suit.

According to the heirs, the victim was driving to the ferry when Mr Camilleri, who was heading in the same direction, crossed a continuous white line and crashed into Mr Grima. The defendants said the accident had been caused by the driver’s negligence and they did not accept responsibility for his death.

According to a court-appointed expert, however, Mr Grima had come to rest some eight metres away from Mr Camilleri’s car following the impact. The court heard that this distance suggested that Mr Grima had not been travelling at high speed prior to the collision.

The evidence produced proved that both the car and the motorbike had their headlamps lit and therefore the drivers could see each other, which, the court concluded, suggested that Mr Camilleri had failed to look and see the motorbike approaching .

The magistrate concluded that the responsibility for the accident lay fully with Mr Camilleri, who had manoeuvred dangerously while crossing the continuous white line, without keeping a proper lookout for other vehicles.

The heirs were awarded €256,028.14 in damages.


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