Hit and run driver escapes $350k bill for hitting cyclist

A CYCLIST who was found face-down in a water-filled pothole after a hit and run has been awarded $350,000 in damages.

But the mystery driver who fled the scene will not have to pay a cent.

Michael Cordin, then 54, was cycling along Minyon Falls Rd when he pressed his brakes to avoid potholes in September 2012.

He told the NSW District Court a vehicle struck him from behind, throwing him onto the road and knocking him unconscious.

Medical records showed Mr Cordin suffered cuts to his head, compression fractures to his spine, injuries to his hands, wrists and knees and disorientation, resulting in difficulty speaking and thinking coherently.

With no actual defendant available, the court appointed a nominal defendant to argue against Mr Cordin's case.

And argue it did.

In all, evidence was sought from two witnesses, a paramedic who arrived at the scene, two doctors, the records of Lismore Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Lismore City Council, police and two accident reconstruction engineers, as well as Mr Cordin and his wife.

The nominal defendant, also known as the "insurer of last resort", claimed Mr Cordin lied about being hit by a car when he had simply fallen off his bike.

It pointed to the fact Mr Cordin did not report the crash to police until 10 days after it allegedly occurred, and after having seen a solicitor.

Judge Leonard Levy dismissed that claim outright.

"I reject that proposition as being speculation fuelled by suspicion rather than supported by reasoned factual analysis or rationally supportable inferences," he said.

Mr Cordin was awarded $350,000 along with his legal costs.

The money will be sourced from the Nominal Defendant Levy included in compulsory third party insurance payments. -APN NEWSDESK


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