Inverness doctor paralysed by bike accident 'sues for £10m'
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It has been reported that a medic left paralysed after an incident on his bike is seeking compensation.
The Inverness Courier, sister paper to the Northern Times, told the story of Danny Gordon back in 2021 after he reached out to share a positive message about how his life was not over despite an incident the year before, three weeks after he began teaching at Raigmore as part of the health sciences team there.
“I was on my new bike,” he said then. “It was a gravel bike and I had not been off-road on it before.
“I saw the perfect spot to go down a grassy area. I thought ‘that looks fun’.
“I stopped and took a video of the area and I went down the first slope onto a flat bit, but as I went onto the second slope my bike flipped and my legs came over my chest still attached to my bike.
“I landed on my chest.
“I immediately knew that I had caused some serious damage."
He had dislocated the T6 vertebrae all the way through to his spinal cord and ruptured veins, causing lung complications and restricting his breathing.
He was transferred to the specialist spinal injuries unit in Glasgow where he spent three months.
Paralysed from the chest down he nevertheless insisted: “Ability and what we can do are a state of mind. I choose to be as positive as I can.
“My life is not over, I still have a family and a good support network.
“I am in a wheelchair, so I can still get about."
It was reported in The Times yesterday that Mr Gordon is now seeking compensation of £10 million from the insurers of Planet X, the company that made and sold him his bike.
The Times quotes Nathan Tavares KC as Mr Gordon’s barrister, saying: “On the evening of August 20, 2020, the claimant took the bike out on its first proper test ride since purchasing it.
“In the course of descending the grass slope at a speed of about 15.5 miles per hour, which is terrain and a speed the claimant will say ought to have been well within the capabilities of the bike, the carbon fibre front forks suddenly and without warning sheared in two at the base of the steerer tube, causing the front wheel of the bike to collapse rearwards.”
His lawyers are reported to be claiming that Planet X had provided a defective bike with “dangerously weak front forks”.
The case has not yet reached court.
Mr Tavares is reported as stating: “Gravel bikes are intended to be go-anywhere bikes equally at home on rough terrain as on the road … given the purpose for which the bike was marketed, the front forks should not have failed in the circumstances. Alternatively, there should have been clear and effective instructions or warnings about its unsuitability for such use.”
Lawyers for the insurers are said to be insisting the bike had been “appropriately tested” and inspected, and there had been no previous complaints.