Driver sued over road collison

STEVE DOWNES A former psychiatric team leader who was left unable to work and severely dependent on his wife is suing the driver whose lack of care caused his life-changing injuries.

STEVE DOWNES

A former psychiatric team leader who was left unable to work and severely dependent on his wife is suing the driver whose lack of care caused his life-changing injuries.

Michael Cowling was knocked over by a car as he crossed Tombland in Norwich at 6.50pm on December 20, 2003.

Six months later, the driver of the VW Golf that collided with him was convicted of driving without due care and attention, and given a conditional discharge and six penalty points on his licence.

Mr Cowling's wife Rowena said: “I've been off sick since January because it all got too much for me. He used to be laidback and friendly but now he's irritable and angry.

“He realises he's changed and he gets frustrated that he cannot do what he used to. But we have to get on with it. I'm married to him and I'm not going to leave him. I drove by Tombland today and I burst into tears.”

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According to a writ served at Norwich Crown Court, Mr Cowling suffered a litany of injuries, including a fractured skull, brain haemorrhage, a double leg fracture, a fractured spine, a fractured and dislocated elbow and paralysis down one side of his body.

The 42-year-old, who was a team leader for Norfolk Mental Health Trust's community health team, contracted MRSA in hospital, suffered up to eight weeks of memory loss and now needs specialist rehabilitation - including physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

And more than three-and-a-half years after the incident, the writ says Mr Cowling suffers confusion, poor concentration, short-term memory loss, altered personality, poor mobility and outbursts of anger.

He is “severely dependent” on his wife, has lost his job and is classed as “unemployable”, the document served by solicitors Cozens-Hardy and Jewson adds.

The writ, served on behalf of the couple, who live at Hampden Drive, Dussindale, near Norwich, says they are seeking damages “in excess of £100,000” plus interest for “personal injuries and other losses arising from” the accident.