Stewarts acts on behalf of a US neurosurgeon who sustained life-changing injuries on a snowmobile trip arranged by McLaren Automotive Events Limited (McLaren), in High Court proceedings that have now received coverage in national news publications.

Last week, the parties attended the first case management conference at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The court has now set down a timetable for the parties to file evidence, ahead of a trial on the issue of liability in the first half of 2025.

Mr Cannestra is represented by partner Julian Chamberlayne and associate James Griffin of Stewarts’ International Injury team, instructing counsel Neil Block KC and Bernard Doherty of 39 Essex Chambers. McLaren Automotive Events Limited (McLaren) are represented by Craig Evans of Clyde & Co, instructing counsel Matthew Chapman KC.


The case details

As described in more detail our earlier article, Mr Cannestra, a US neurosurgeon, had paid over £23,000 to take part in McLaren’s Arctic Experience in 2020.  This short holiday is marketed to McClaren owners primarily as an ice driving experience. However, at the time snowmobile tours were also included in the package. It is alleged by Mr Cannestra that the guide led him at a speed that was too high for a beginner attempting to traverse through twisty wooded terrain in the very low light conditions around sunset within the Arctic Circle and with snow falling.

The High Court action commenced in 2023. Following the first substantial court hearing in the matter, a timetable for evidence to be filed has now been set down, ahead of a trial which is due to commence in the first half of 2025.

Mr Cannestra’s claim describes how his injuries have led to him having to cut back on his portfolio of work as a neurosurgeon, and is likely to significantly shorten his medical career in the future.

McLaren denies responsibility for the incident, and puts Mr Cannestra to proof in relation to the extent of his injuries and losses. The parties have been given permission from the court to obtain expert evidence on the standard of snowmobiling instruction provided, the relevant local standards in northern Finland where the experience was held, and a reconstruction of the incident.


Press coverage and comment

The case has received significant media interest in the past week following the first case management conference, with articles published in The Times, The Telegraph and Mail Online.

Julian Chamberlayne comments: “I am pleased to see that the court has now set down directions to a trial on the issue of liability in the first half of 2025. We recognise the importance of expert evidence in assisting the court to determine liability in cases such as Andrew’s.

“One of the keys to securing compensation for past clients of Stewarts who have sustained life changing injuries in snowmobile or quad bike accidents has been to carefully select experts. Truly credible experts can assist the court to understand how the accident occurred and the often simple steps that could and should have been taken to avoid it occurring.”



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