THE family of a young man who suffered horrendous injuries in a car crash have spoken of their relief after winning more than £10m in damages.
It has been five years of immense heartache for relatives of Jack Farrugia since he was involved in an accident as he took a lift home from South Downs College.
Then just 17, Jack had ambitions of becoming a professional footballer and his talent had impressed people at Havant & Waterlooville FC Academy, where he was captain.
But the super-fit footballer suffered devastating head injuries in the crash and will require 24-hour nursing for the rest of his life.
His parents Lorraine and Laurence have fought hard for a payout that will ensure their son gets the best care and treatment.
Damages were claimed from the driver’s insurer, Quinn Insurance Ltd, which admitted liability but disputed the value of the claim.
Following a four-day hearing at London’s High Court, Judge Mr Justice Kay awarded Jack a damages package worth just over £10m which will be used to fund the lifetime of care he will need.
On top of a £4.2m lump sum, he will receive tax-free payments of £255,000 for the rest of his life.
Mr Farrugia, 50, a telecoms engineer, of Highgrove Road, Baffins, told The News: ‘We’re quite happy in the respect that it will give Jack the care he requires for the rest of his life.
‘All we wanted was a care package that would give him a good quality of life.
‘Jack’s health is never going to come back as it was. This was the best we could really ask for.
‘It’s quite a relief in some respects that we can start planning things more long-term and hopefully there will not be as many solicitors involved.’
But he said there would be no big celebrations.
He added: ‘I’d give up anything and everything just to have Jack back as he was. The money side of it is quite immaterial.’
The court heard Jack, now 22, had led ‘an exemplary and admirable life before his accident’.
The judge said: ‘The events of November 7, 2008, and their aftermath, have been a tragedy for this admirable young man and his family.
‘These consequences have been both physical and psychological.
‘Jack’s parents – in particular Lorraine, but I’m certainly not overlooking Laurence – have worked tirelessly in his best interests.
‘Fortunately for them, all the stress associated with this case over the past four years or so is about to come to an end.’
Jack, a life-long Pompey fan who still attends home games, is confined to a bed or wheelchair, cannot speak or swallow safely and has severe epileptic fits.
Mr Farrugia said he hoped the payout would allow Jack to go on his first holiday in years – and an African safari is being considered.
‘It would be great if Jack could have a normal holiday and do the things the likes of you and I can do,’ he added.
The High Court heard that Jack’s condition is unlikely to improve.
After years in hospitals in Bath and Salisbury, he was only able to return home in January 2012 and has since moved into a specially-adapted property in Drayton.
The crash happened in Tangier Road, Baffins. Jack was a front-seat passenger in a Citroen Saxo when the driver lost control, crossed on to the wrong side of the road, and ploughed into a Ford Transit van. The driver received a £200 fine and a 12-month driving ban for careless driving.