E-scooter rider loses £30,000 legal fight over pothole crash
AN e- scooter rider has had her £30,000 compensation claim thrown out by a judge after failing to prove the existence of the pothole she said caused her to crash.
In the first case of its kind, Giovanna Drago, 22, claimed she suffered a broken leg after her new £500 e- scooter ploughed into a pothole.
She said her injuries included lasting pain and scarring and left ‘clicking, swelling and muscle-wasting’ around the knee that took almost two years to heal. Mrs Drago sued the London Borough of Barnet for £30,000 over its alleged failure to keep the road clear. However, she admitted she was riding her Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 scooter illegally when she crashed in October 2020.
At least one other case involving an illegally used e-scooter has been filed at UK courts, but Mrs Drago’s was the first to go before a judge. During the three-day hearing, she told Central London County Court she had no chance to avoid the ‘large and dangerous’ hole in the road in Barnet, north London.
Mrs Drago said she crashed ‘because it was dark, I couldn’t see the hole’. She added that she had her headlights on when her scooter catapulted forward. She was wearing a helmet when she went over the handlebars and had been travelling at a moderate speed.
Mrs Drago, of New Southgate, north London, told Judge Jan Luba KC she had no idea she was breaking the law when she took her e-scooter on the road. The council denied liability to compensate her, saying it was not responsible for her injuries. It challenged her to prove the existence of the pothole, insisting it kept the road safe and clear from hazards. The council said Mrs Drago should not be compensated because she was breaking the law by riding on the road.
‘She admitted riding illegally’
Judge Luba rejected her case, saying she had no evidence the photograph of a pothole she showed to the court was the one she says she hit.
He added that he was ‘ not satisfied that the state of the road was such that there was a large and dangerous pothole in the road at the time’.
As a result, Judge Luba said he did not need to rule on whether Mrs Drago’s illegal riding would have forfeited any right to compensation.