GBB’s Enterprising Research Praised by Trial Judge

Using its innovative approach and enthusiastic drive for results, the GBB Research Department has once again demonstrated its ability to adapt and implement its research to provide ground-breaking scientific and engineering evidence to assist in unconventional cases.

The latest illustration of GBB’s flexibility in expertise was assisting in the case of an unusual serious injury claim after being first approached in January 2013 by a major national law firm acting on behalf of the Claimant.

A pillion passenger had fallen from a powerful, sports motorcycle and suffered serious personal injuries. The cause of the fall was in dispute. Put simply, the passenger claimed that the rider had accelerated suddenly and without warning, causing her to fall from the back of the machine. Alternatively, the rider reported no unusual driving and insisted that his passenger merely failed to hold on properly.

With no internal or external research to rely upon, GBB’s investigation started at grass-root level with the purchase of a motorcycle of the same make, model and year with which to conduct tests. A series of innovative tests was performed to measure and compare the forces produced by the motorcycle against those that secure the pillion to the motorcycle and rider.

Using that unique research, GBB was able to demonstrate to the court:

  • That the injuries sustained by the pillion provided guidance on the cause of the detachment;
  • The differences between the simple mechanisms which secure the pillion and the more substantial ones which secure the rider to the motorcycle;
  • The manner in which the motorcycle must be driven in order to overcome those mechanisms.

Chartered Engineer and Technical Director at GBB, Philip Hoyes, provided oral evidence at the hearing in Canterbury in November 2013 where the Honourable Judge described how two experts had approached their task quite differently: the Defendant’s expert basing his report solely on his great experience, and Mr Hoyes approaching his rather more scientifically.

In his summary the Judge stated: “I find Mr Hoyes’ approach more scientific as one would expect given his qualifications…On balance, and where they vary, I much prefer the evidence of Mr Hoyes as it is more concrete, more supported by tests of a scientific nature and more accurate on the facts of the case”, before finding 100% in favour of the Claimant.