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Appeals Court overturns arbiter's decision over Swieqi traffic accident

A motorist has been ordered to pay over €2,000 in damages after the Court of Appeal overturned a decision absolving her of responsibility for a 2009 car crash in Swieqi

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
8 August 2017, 2:30pm
In view of the fact that Clayton Calleja had been speeding at the time, his responsibility for the accident was adjudged to be 30 per cent
In view of the fact that Clayton Calleja had been speeding at the time, his responsibility for the accident was adjudged to be 30 per cent
A motorist has been ordered to pay over €2,000 in damages after the Court of Appeal overturned a decision absolving her of responsibility for a 2009 car crash in Swieqi.

The collision in question occurred on 6 May 2009 in Triq is-Sidra, Swieqi, as Mary Ann Cachia was pulling out of her driveway and was struck by a vehicle that was being driven by Clayton Calleja.

Cachia had claimed to have already pulled out of her drive at the time of impact and that her car had been parallel to the kerb, ready to set off when Calleja's car came hurtling down the street, crashing into her car.

An Arbitration Tribunal had previously declared that Cachia was not responsible for the accident. Calleja subsequently filed an appeal against this decision.

Mr Justice Anthony Ellul presiding the Court of Appeal in its inferior jurisdiction, observed that the point of impact had been close to the rear wheel well. This contradicted Cachia’s claim to have had already fully emerged from her drive, onto the road, because had that been the case, the court noted, it would have been the back end of the car that was damaged and not the rear passenger side.

The “substantial” damage to both cars indicated that the woman had still been pulling out of her drive-in, into the arterial road, when the two vehicles had collided, the court said.

The judge also noted that the evidence pointed to Calleja having probably been driving at a speed above the 50km/hour limit in the road in question.

Upholding the appeal, the court ruled that the majority of the responsibility for the accident fell to Cachia, as she had “disrupted the flow of traffic when cars were passing through the principal road.” But in view of the fact that Calleja had been speeding at the time, his responsibility for the accident was adjudged to be 30 per cent.

Cachia was ordered to pay €2,038.60 in damages, the court ruling that 70 per cent of the costs of the case were to be borne by the woman and 30 per cent by Calleja.

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...