'Agonising decision' for parents of paralysed teen

THE parents of a 14-year-old girl who was left paralysed after a concrete porch fell on her have taken the agonising decision to accept a £300,000 compensation payout - although her claim could have been worth £3 million.

THE parents of a 14-year-old girl who was left paralysed after a concrete porch fell on her have taken the agonising decision to accept a £300,000 compensation payout - although her claim could have been worth £3 million.

Zoe Talbot suffered serious spinal injuries when, at the age of 10 in September 2004, she was crushed by the porch as she played with a friend outside a neighbour's home in Cottesford Close, Hadleigh.

Zoe's injuries were so grave - she will spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair - that lawyers valued her claim at between £2 and 3 million, her counsel, Mrs Amanda Yip, told top judge, Mr Justice Teare, at London's High Court today.

But the Sanctuary Housing Association, which owns the property, denied all blame for the catastrophic accident and Mrs Yip described it as an “all or nothing case” in which the teenager may have come away with nothing if lawyers had fought her case in court.


You may also want to watch:


Parents Robert and Amanda Talbot, of Cottesford Close, have now taken the “extremely difficult” decision to accept the housing association's offer to settle her case for £300,000 - a fraction of the full valuation of claim, added the barrister.

Mrs Yip said all the cash would be spent on buying a suitable bungalow and adapting it to Zoe's needs.

Most Read

Nothing will be left over to fund a lifetime of care and assistance for Zoe and, for that, she will have to depend on her devoted parents and local authority funding, the court was told.

Mrs Yip told the judge: “The decision to accept this offer was not an easy one for these parents.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter