Insurance firm must pay Jack compensation

FAMILY Jack Farrugia with his mum Lorraine and brother Tim
FAMILY Jack Farrugia with his mum Lorraine and brother Tim

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THE battle over who will pay millions of pounds in compensation to a young footballer seriously injured in a car crash has been settled.

Jack Farrugia, 19, suffered head injuries when a car driven by Steven Burtenshaw crashed into a parked van in November 2008.

Burtenshaw, 20, of Powerscourt Road, Copnor, was fined and banned from driving for 12 months following a careless driving conviction.

But there was a question mark over who was liable to pay compensation.

Following the crash Burtenshaw concocted a fake ‘sale’ of the car to his blind grandfather Richard making him the registered keeper and Burtenshaw as a named driver.

This was taken out with Zurich Insurance and meant cheaper premiums.

But Mr Justice Spencer, sitting at the High Court, ruled the Zurich policy was not worth the paper it was written on.

The judge ruled that Quinn Insurance – which had insured the car before the fake sale – should foot the bill for Jack’s ongoing care, which could reach £5m. The firm has already paid an interim £900,000 to Jack’s family.

Jack, from Copnor, who is the former captain of Havant and Waterlooville Academy FC, is currently in a rehabilitation unit in Salisbury.

His dad Laurence said: ‘We’re just pleased that it’s come to a conclusion. What we didn’t want was for it to drag on.’

Quinn had argued it did not technically insure the car at the time of the crash as it had tried to cancel the policy due to unpaid premiums. It claimed it should fall to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau – which compensates victims of uninsured drivers.

Mr Justice Spencer said the case was a ‘cautionary tale’ for any parent tempted to insure their teenager’s car in an adult’s name to save on insurance premiums.