£100k damages for family of young man hit by car

Mr Currie's relatives were awarded substantial damages at Edinburgh's Court of Session. Picture: Toby Williams
Mr Currie's relatives were awarded substantial damages at Edinburgh's Court of Session. Picture: Toby Williams
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THE bereaved relatives of a young man who died after being hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing were yesterday awarded more than £100,000 damages.

A judge paid tribute to the victim, Gavin Currie, describing him as “a fine young man with good employment prospects and a happy and settled family life”.

Gavin Currie. Picture: Submitted

Gavin Currie. Picture: Submitted

She said that Mr Currie’s death had caused “deep grief and upset to all those close to him”.

Mr Currie, 25, died after he was struck by a vehicle as he walked over the crossing in Neilston, in Renfrewshire, on 28 December, 2011.

His mother and father, Margaret, 60, and James, 62, of Neilston, and his older brother Euan, 30, sued the insurers of the driver, Lorraine Bruce, for damages at the Court of Session in Edinburgh following the incident.

Esure Services Ltd, of Reigate, Surrey, admitted liability in the case but the judge, Lady Wise, was left to assess what should be just compensation for loss of 
society – mainly the grief and sorrow suffered by the parents and brother.

She said: “The deceased in the present case was undisputedly close both to his parents and to his older brother Euan.

“However, he had gained some independence in the years leading up to his death in that he had worked away from home, had formed a serious relationship and it seems likely he would have left the family home completely, married and started a family of his own,” Lady Wise said.

“While the pursuers (the relatives) have countless happy memories of Gavin’s childhood and young adulthood, they have lost their years of further companionship and closeness that on the evidence it is likely would have continued to exist.”

Lady Wise added: “Self-evidently, any award made to the pursuers will do nothing to reduce their level of grief.”

The judge awarded £42,000 to each parent and a further £22,500 to the victim’s older brother. A further £7,211 was awarded to Mr Currie as his late son’s executor.

The victim had been watching football with friends and they had gone for a drink. He had gone to get money from a cash machine when the incident took place.

The driver was prosecuted for causing death by driving carelessly and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Mrs Currie, an office administrator, told the Court of Session that her sons were “different but inseparable” and came from a close-knit family.

She spoke of her youngest son as a very kind boy who looked out for both old and young.

She said on the night of the incident, Euan’s girlfriend had turned up at the door and told them that Gavin had been knocked down. He was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, where he later died as a result of his injuries.

At one stage, her husband, who had spoken to doctors, held his wife and told her there was nothing more that could be done for their son.

They and Euan took turns to sit with Gavin and gave permission for his organs to go for donation, but his mother was too distraught to watch her son take his last breath.

Mrs Currie told the court she felt she could not come to terms with the loss of her son and had been unable to remove his clothes from his room.

Lawyers acting for both sides in the case had argued for different levels of damages to be awarded.