Six-year-old awarded GBP 5m damages

A six-year-old girl who was left paralysed and brain-damaged following a head-on car crash has received a GBP 5 million payout after a successful personal injury claim, in what the judge involved with the case described as the "saddest case" he has come across.

Cerys Edwards was just 11 months old when her family's car was hit head-on by Antonio Boparan in Sutton Coldfield in 2006.

The impact of the collision left her with spine and brain injuries, leaving Cerys paralysed, unable to speak and permanently dependent on a ventilator as well as a team of around-the-clock nurses.

As well as the initial GBP 5 million damages, she will also get an annual £450,000 payout for the rest of her life.

Judge Martin McKenna said: "I've had the misfortune to deal with a number of cases with serious injuries but I think this is one of the saddest cases I've come across.

"While money can never compensate for Cerys' injuries, at least they (her family) have the comfort that her financial future is secure."

Cerys' representative, Paul Bleasdale QC, told the court that the youngster spent two years in hospital following the collision and now lives in her own home, which has been specially adapted for her needs.

Outside court, Mr Bleasdale said the GBP 5 million awarded to Cerys was one of the biggest compensation payouts he had heard of.

"If it isn't the biggest, it's close to it," he added.

The court heard that Mr Boparan was driving at more than 70 mph in a 30 mph zone and was on the wrong side of the road in a powerful Range Rover Sport when he smashed into the Edwards' family car.

Speaking at Birmingham County Court, Mr Boparan's representative, Margaret Bowron QC, apologised profusely for his actions.

"Those acting for the defendant are glad the case was settled without a contested case and hope it's some comfort to Cerys' family that her financial future is secure," she added.

Posted by Wayne WeirADNFCR-2070-ID-801302249-ADNFCR

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