£3m for car-crash property boss

By James Brewster, December 4, 2008

A 74-year-old businesswoman who was left brain damaged after being struck by a car while walking her dog near Hampstead Heath won a record damages payout this week.

Pamela Green was the multi-millionaire director of a string of companies linked to her property development business, Pamlion Properties Ltd, until she was severely injured while walking her poodle over a zebra crossing.

The accident occurred on Spaniard’s Road, Hampstead Heath, where Mrs Green lives, on March 25 2006. Mrs Green, who suffered pelvic fractures and a severe traumatic brain injury, sued the driver, Aneil Thawer, through her son David Green, who has taken over her property empire.
On Tuesday, Mr Thawer’s insurers agreed to pay £2.755 million to Mrs Green to settle her claim. It is the largest sum ever awarded in a personal injury case involving someone of her age.

Mr Justice Davis, who approved the settlement at London’s High Court, heard that Mr Thawer, of Cricklewood, North London, hit Mrs Green while he was driving at about 30mph on a wet road at dusk.

Mr Thawer had denied liability, claiming he never saw anyone on the crossing as he approached, and that Mrs Green “ran on to it”, giving him no opportunity to avoid the collision.

Julian Benson, Mrs Green’s barrister, had been set to argue against this, saying that Mr Thawer failed to pay adequate attention as he drove towards the crossing, as the woman and her dog would “have presented a highly distinctive subject” on the road. The dog was a standard, not miniature, poodle. But on Tuesday both parties agreed to settle the claim without any admission of liability.

The size of the settlement was due to the high yearly income and unusually prolonged working life that Mrs Green enjoyed until her accident.

Last updated: 4:22pm, April 28 2009