Disabled mum to get £2 million damages

A MOTHER OF THREE from Suffolk is in line for an out of court damages settlement of more than £2 million after a horrific accident left her severely brain damaged and wheelchair-bound.

A MOTHER OF THREE from Suffolk is in line for an out of court damages settlement of more than £2 million after a horrific accident left her severely brain damaged and wheelchair-bound.

Joan Goldsmith, 62, was left with “catastrophic” injuries after her Ford Escort was hit head-on by a Volkswagen Golf on the A143, just outside Great Barton in September 2001.

The crash left her with a brain injury and limited use of her left arm and leg, making her dependent on a wheelchair. She also lost the sight in one eye.

The driver of the other car, Marc Holliday, of Oakley Ley, Bradfield St George, was 30-years-old when he was convicted in October 2002 of driving without due care and attention and his conviction was upheld following an appeal at Ipswich Crown Court in April 2003.

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Her family's lawyers, Kester Cunningham John, of Thetford, brought civil proceedings against Mr Holliday on behalf of Mrs Goldsmith and the case was due to go to trial at the Royal Courts of Justice, in London, on Monday .

A settlement of £2.25 million has now been provisionally agreed between the two sides and it will go before the court to be ratified on Monday.

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Trefine Maynard, of Kester Cunningham John, who managed the case, said: “Joan has made a remarkable recovery given her appalling injuries, although she remains unable to stand or walk and so is wheelchair dependent.

“She is also left with a very severe brain injury which has led to her becoming a patient of the Court of Protection.

“The settlement will involve a substantial sum of money, an indication of the horrific nature of her injuries and the effect they will continue to have on her and her family for the rest of her life.

“The award is calculated mainly to fund ongoing therapy and alterations to her home to make it more suitable for her needs, and to provide for her ongoing care in the future.

“Joan's family are still very angry at the circumstances of the road accident and the way the life of their wife and mother has been so cruelly devastated.

“Whatever relief the money might bring to the woman about whom they care so deeply, it can never make up for her catastrophic brain injuries or to the fact that she must spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.”

Mrs Goldsmith, is cared for by her husband, John, and three daughters, Julie Emms, Penny Hume and Kay Murrow.

She was treated at the scene of the crash by paramedics and a doctor, who was called out because of the obvious severity of her injuries.

She was trapped in her car and had to be given an artificial airway at the scene to help her breathing.

Heroic and revolutionary treatment by the doctor probably led to her survival.

Fire crews cut her free from the wreckage and she was rushed to West Suffolk hospital, where she coincidentally worked as a supervisor of the housekeeping staff.

She was initially not expected to survive the night because of the severity of her head injuries but stabilised and the next day went through 14 hours of surgery.

She broke both legs in a number of places, broke both knee caps and suffered chest and facial injuries.

Mrs Goldsmith, who lives near Great Barton, spent five months in West Suffolk hospital before being transferred to Addenbrooke's, in Cambridge, in February 2002 and she was eventually allowed home in June of that year.

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