There was uproar in conservative political circles today, with demands that something be done about the “runaway compensation culture”, after a crash dummy known as D9 received £150 000 in compensation for injuries received at work. “It's the whole entitlement culture gone out of control”, spluttered one Tory MP. “Crash dummies were always the epitome of the stiff upper lip, stoical chaps who never flinched or complained. If the dummy rights thing takes off, we'll end up with million-pound claims taken to the European Court by clothes-shop mannequins”.
The beige carbon fibre figure sat impassively in court as his lawyer, Alex Gardner, outlined the effects the crash has had on him. Jurors flinched as they watched footage of the incident. The dummy sat in his stationary car as one of his colleagues calmly drove into the back of it at a steady 50mph, watched by men with clipboards. Struggling to contain his emotion, Mr Gardner described how his client was merely subjected to a cursory inspection of his impact points before being tipped unceremoniously onto a forklift and taken away. Amid snorts of contempt from defence counsel, he added that the dummy's sex life had been ruined.
Before the accident, he went on, D9 was outgoing and full of confidence, and enjoyed a glamorous job driving Ferraris and Lamborghinis into brick walls at 100mph. Since the whiplash incident, his self-esteem has been destroyed, and he is now scraping a living from test-driving mobility scooters and stairlifts for the Daily Telegraph weekend supplement.
Outside the court, Mr Gardner defended himself against those who accused him of bringing a case “on behalf of a piece of industrial hardware”, describing his client as a sensitive individual “with way more personality than Richard Hammond”. He denied reports that he is now taking the case of a famous cartoon character who was run over and flattened five times in ten minutes.