Anastasia Karseras represented the successful Defendant in the case of Zanatta v Metroline Travel Limited  EWCA Civ 224.
This claim arose out of a road traffic accident which occurred when the Claimant stepped off the pavement into the path of a bus. Before doing so, the Claimant had not looked in the direction of the vehicle’s approach. The driver braked and swerved but was unable to avoid colliding with the Claimant and a traffic island. Following a trial in the High Court, the judge at first instance dismissed the Claimant’s claim. Had he found for the Claimant, the judge would have assessed contributory negligence at 70%.
Permission to appeal was granted on the basis of the serious allegation that the judge disregarded matters of common ground and made findings that were not open to him, rendering the decision “unjust because of serious procedural irregularities” and “in any event wrong”. The Claimant also contended that the judge had not applied the correct standard of care, that he had developed his own case theory without giving the parties an opportunity to consider it, and mistakenly resorted to the burden of proof.
The Court of Appeal did not accept the description of the facts in the grounds of appeal as “common ground”, and there were no agreed facts as to distances. The contention that the judge disregarded common ground did not fairly or accurately describe the exercise which the judge carried out. Further, the judge applied the correct legal test for the standard of care to the facts as he found them, and these facts were based upon the evidence before the court. The judge did not resort to the burden of proof in the absence of findings of fact, still less did he embark upon his own case theory.
Anastasia’s oral submissions were described by Lady Justice Andrews as “clear and cogent”, and she was “commended for the helpful way in which she was able to adapt her submissions to meet the shift in focus from her opponent’s skeleton argument to the matters which gained prominence in his oral submissions”.
Anastasia was instructed by Rachael Lumb of Keoghs.
A link to the full judgment can be found here.