Swinton Trap Accident – Action Against Colliery Company – Claim for £50.

January 1902

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 31 January 1902

A Swinton Trap Accident.

Action Against the Denaby Main Colliery Company.

Claim for £50.

At the Rotherham County Court on Friday before His Honour Judge Waddy, K.C., the Denaby and Cadeby Collieries Company Ltd. were sued by John Wm. Lambert Trickett, glass’ worker, of Swinton, for £5O damages resulting from negligent driving.

Mr. A. Muir Wilson appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Gichard defended.

The plaintiff was employed by Messrs. Waddington’s, glass bottle manufacturers of Mexboro’. On Saturday, Sept. 7th, at 8-15 a.m. he was walking along the Swinton Main Road, with his sweetheart, Miss Holmes, who was going to New Clee. He was helping her with her luggage, an old-fashioned tin box, to the railway station, to catch the 8-30 train. When about 50 yards from the Great Central railway bridge, Miss Holmes looked round and screamed. Before he knew what had happened he was violently struck in the right side by a horse and trap coming in contact with him. He was flung forward eight or ten yards into a gateway, and sustained injuries of a serious nature.

Mr. Wilson submitted that the defendants’ driver was on the wrong side of the road, and the conveyance getting too near to the kerb’ stone, the horse was startled. The damages included ten weeks’ loss of wages at 38s., two weeks at New Clee, damage to coat £1. The plaintiff’s actual monetary loss was £25.

Elizabeth Ann Holmes stated that she was with the plaintiff on the 7th December, and when she looked behind her she saw the horse coming straight for them. Plaintiff was knocked against the gate by the horse.

Wm. Brown, a roadmen, in the employ of the Swinton Urban District Council, stated that he saw the horse knock the plaintiff down. The driver of the horse was driving on the right-hand side—his wrong driving side.

George Resting, a labourer, working at the gas weeks, Swinton, gave evidence in a rather disjointed manner. His Honour remarked that it was the witness’s duty as a gas man to shed light on the matter. (Laughter.)

Fredk. Gipps, a labourer at the gas works, also gave evidence.

Dr. John James Huey, of Mexboro’, slated that he was called to attend to the plaintiff on the 7th Sept. last, and had attended him until the 10th Nov. He found him suffering from abrasions over the right temple, the right side of the face and right shoulder and arm, down to the elbow, and a slightly lacerated wound on the tibia or shin of the tight leg. The time he attended the plaintiff was rather long for injuries of that had, but plaintiff was rather a nervous subject.

Cross-examined, he said he did not see any reason why plaintiff should not have gone to work at the end of three week, or a month, but he had attended as long as the patient wanted him. There was no permanent injury to cause plaintiff to limp, as had been described by him.

The defence put forward was a denial of negligence. Robert Henry Lapidge, groom for the defendant company, said he had driven the horse for about 18 months. He had been accustomed to horses all his life, and had been in the habit of driving horses. He had driven the mare he was driving on the 7th September for about six months prior to that. Before the accident she was a very quiet animal, and had a very tender mouth. Since then however, it shied badly at anything, such as wheelbarrows and perambulators. On the 7th Sept. he was driving all right and on his proper aide. His horse shied at a wheelbarrow and swerved right across the road.

Cross-examined by Mr. Wilson, he stated that he had the horse under perfect control.

John Watkin, cashier, and Harry Sykes Witty, manager the defendant company also gave evidence.

Mr. W. M. Gichard submitted that there had been no negligence on the part of the driver, and there was no knowledge that the animal had any vice of any description. There must have been some extraordinary cause for the horse to shy sixty yards before it reached the plaintiff. He submitted that the damages were exaggerated.

His Honour said he believed he had never listened to a case in which the defence was so absolutely hopeless.

He gave judgment for the plaintiff for £10.