Out-of-court settlement in paralysed biker case?

Confidentiality agreement means mystery surrounds outcome

Paralysed mountain biker Russell Pinder is believed to have reached an out-of-court settlement with Fox Racing Shox, the company he claimed was to blame for his life-shattering crash.

A confidentiality agreement means details of the outcome of the court case will never be revealed. It is understood that the judge, Mr Justice Plender, had already completed a draft version of his judgment when settlement terms were agreed.

Jonathan Cohen, Mr Pinder's solicitor, said: "There was no judgment handed down. I'm not allowed to say anything else. I can neither confirm nor deny whether the case was settled out of court."

The case was dropped following a week-long High Court hearing in November during which Mr Pinder accused Fox of negligence. He claimed he had crashed due to a "defect" in his Float 100R fork, while Fox said it was Mr Pinder who had been negligent by not checking that the quick-release skewer on his front wheel was done up properly. 

Mr Pinder, 44, of Blewberry, near Didcot, Oxfordshire, is now confined to a wheelchair after the front wheel of his bike came loose during a ride in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, in March 2003. He sustained devastating injuries in the crash, including severe damage to his spine.

He argued that Fox was liable to pay damages due to its "negligence" in failing to adequately test the effect of combining its Float forks with a disc brake and quick-release wheel. Fox insisted the accident had not been caused by any "defect" in his fork.

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