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Crash driver ran up £95k hire bill

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700

A TRAIN GUARD ran up car hire bills of more than £95,000 after his £8,000 Mercedes was written off in an accident, a court has heard

Sameer Umerji, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, entered into a credit hire agreement with a car rental firm which ran for around 18 months, judges were told.

Detail has emerged in a written ruling by the Court of Appeal - after Mr Umerji and insurers became embroiled in litigation.

One appeal judge, Lord Justice Underhill, said the car hire sum was "remarkable" given the value of the Mercedes.

A judge in Manchester County Court had ordered an insurance firm to pay most of the £95,000 after Mr Umerji took legal action, said the appeal court ruling.

Zurich Insurance, which had asked why Mr Umerji had not bought a replacement car, then appealed.

And three appeal judges made a ruling in the firm's favour after a hearing in London.

Appeal judges concluded that it would have been "reasonable" for Mr Umerji to have bought a replacement car within six months of the accident.

They said the amount Zurich had to pay should be cut accordingly - although they did not give a new figure.

Lord Justice Underhill said there was a "plethora" of cases about the recoverability of credit hire charges following car accidents.

By Brian Farmer, Press Association