A Brit on holiday has been paralysed after an open top bus driver crashed into a branch when on a cocaine 'come down', according to a law firm.
Teacher Rob Butt, 48, was enjoying a family holiday in Malta four years ago when getting smashed by a low-lying tree branch changed his life forever.
As dad-of-three Rob was confined to a wheelchair, two other passengers on the top deck were tragically killed with 29 more injured in the horror crash.
Now with law firm Irwin Mitchell, the Butt family from Glastonbury, Somerset have issued legal proceedings in the London High Court against the bus driver, the bus company (City Sightseeing Malta Ltd), and its insurers.
The lawyers say it has since been established, through a Magisterial Inquiry in Malta, that the bus driver had used cocaine prior to the crash.
They say the inquiry has found he may have been experiencing comedown effects at the time of the collision.
Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell report it was the bus driver’s first day working with City Sightseeing since the previous year, and he had not been provided with any training in the interim.
They argue that breaches of duty of care led to the incident, including the driver’s failure to keep a proper lookout, driving too fast and driving too close to the edge of the road.
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A hearing has now taken place at the High Court in London, which has listed the matter for trial in 2023.
It will determine how much insurance cover is available to pay the damages of all of those who sustained injuries as a result of the collision
Jennifer Lund, of Irwin Mitchell, said: “It has been more than four years since the lives of Rob and his family were completely turned upside down.
''Rob’s 75-year-old mum moved house and runs a lot of the day-to-day organisation as, with carers changing regularly and Kathy having to work long hours to support the family, continuity is needed."
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Ms Lund continued: “The family, and everyone else affected by this devastating accident, has spent the last few years waiting for clarity about what happened on that fateful day and whether the defendants have enough funds to pay damages – we’re pleased that they’re now one step closer to obtaining these answers."
Rob’s wife Kathy, and their three children were also injured as a result of the crash.
Kathy added: “It’s been particularly difficult to see Rob go from being fit and healthy and an active dad to requiring care 24 hours a day and unable to hug his children or do very much for them.
''He has, however, been incredible, a real inspiration to us and to our local community, and tries to remain positive through everything.
“We know we’ll face many challenges as a family as a result of Rob’s health issues, which will worsen as time goes on, but we’re all so grateful he’s still here."
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