A drug dealer who was carrying a “football-sized block of cannabis” has won the right to sue the government because of a European Union law on motor insurance. Sean Delaney was seriously injured in a motoring accident but because drugs were found in his car his insurance was invalid.
As the British government had not standardised local law on the issue he can now sue the taxpayer for compensation. According to the Daily Express the judge in the case Mr Justice Jay admitted there would be “public revulsion” that a criminal would be entitled to “substantial” damages.
Giving the Transport Minister permission to appeal, the judge said: “Many readers may be wondering how it comes about that a drug dealer is entitled to compensation against Her Majesty’s Government in circumstances where he was injured during the course of a criminal joint enterprise.
“The understandable reaction might be, there must be some rule of public policy, reflecting public revulsion, which bars such a claim. The short answer is that there is not.”
Mr Delaney who is 40 and from Coventry was in a friend’s Mercedes sports car when it crashed in Nuneaton in November 2006. The car hit another vehicle before careering into a tree.
He suffered extensive brain injuries and would have died if there had not been an ambulance in the area. But when his insurance company refused to pay out for his injuries he sued the government for failing to implement European Directives on compensation for uninsured drivers.
Mr Justice Jay ruled that the Department for Transport’s failure to ensure uniformity with Europe was neither inadvertent nor excusable.
The compensation may well run into millions and is likely to add further weight to those arguing that we must leave the European Union. This case highlights the difference in attitude between the British and Europeans on social issues.
Most British lawmakers would take the view that an accident victim whose insurance was invalidated due to criminal acts should not receive any assistance, whereas more left-wing European politicians would not.
Euro-sceptics will seize on this as further evidence that an accommodation with the Europeans can never be found.