A 22-year-old woman who shattered her knee when she hit a pothole while riding illegal e-scooter is suing for £30,000 compensation in the first case of its kind to get to court.
Giovanna Drago broke her left knee when her new Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 e-scooter hit the pothole in Friary Road, Barnet, in October 2020, and took 20 months to recover from her injuries.
She told Central London county court she had no opportunity to avoid the pothole because it was dusk and hard to spot, she has thus sued Barnet council for failing to maintain the road.
Drago claims she is entitled to damages despite admitting that riding her e-scooter on the road was illegal, but the council says she should get nothing because she caused her own injury by riding on the road as only scooters rented from an “authorised hire scheme” are allowed on public highways.
Her case is the first to go before a judge and could set a precedent for future claims. The court heard Drago, of New Southgate, had no idea she was breaking the law when she took the scooter on the road and had only ridden it twice before her crash.
Though wearing a safety helmet, Drago did not wear knee pads when she went over the handlebars, but had been travelling at a moderate speed, she told Judge Jan Luba KC during a two-day hearing this week.
Barnet council is denying all blame for her injuries, insisting staff did their utmost to keep roads clear from hazards, and that Drago should not be compensated for her lawbreaking.
Drago’s barrister, Dr Joanna Kerr, accepted the illegality of riding on the road but argued her offending was minimal and she should be compensated if the council are held at fault. The case was adjourned for the lawyers’ final submissions.