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Compensation pay-out to road crash man

PUBLISHED: 13:14 20 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 March 2010

A STOWMARKET man whose career prospects and marriage collapsed after a devastating road smash has won £375,000 agreed compensation at London's High Court.

A STOWMARKET man whose career prospects and marriage collapsed after a devastating road smash has won £375,000 agreed compensation at London's High Court.

David Whitefield, of Hill Rise, Stowmarket, was left brain damaged following the accident on March 9, 1998, on the A14 near Creeting St Peter.

His Vauxhall Cavalier car was involved in a collision with a Volvo estate - driven by Andrew Clarke of Lutterworth, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

The impact was so hard was the impact he was thrown clear of his vehicle despite wearing a seatbelt.

His barrister, Nicholas Hillier, told Mr Justice McComb at the court hearing how 49-year-old Mrs Whitefield has displayed "unpredictable and bizarre" behaviour due to an "organic personality disorder" triggered by the accident.

His pre-accident personality was described as "reliable, friendly, polite and confident", but, "in stark contrast", he is now "irrational, inconsiderate and incapable."

Mr Hillier added that Mr Whitefield's marriage to his wife Ann has now ended in divorce, and he has moved out of the family home and away from his three children.

"It's difficult to envisage Mr Whitefield working in substantial employment in the future," added the barrister. "The effects of the accident have been profound."

Mr Hillier told the court that before the accident Mr Whitefield, who sued through his brother Peter because of his mental state, was a hard working employee of Prudential Insurance.

He was hoping to double his administrative assistant's salary by winning promotion – but after returning to work he struggled with his job and soon took voluntary redundancy.

Since then he has had a number of jobs, but, said Mr Hillier, failed to hold them down because of his mental state.

"At one place where he worked, his fellow employees couldn't understand why this man didn't match up to his very good CV," said Mr Hillier. "The truth has now emerged."

Mr Whitefield, who was not in court yesterday to hear Mr Justice McComb approve the £375,000 settlement, also suffered a fractured spine and bruising in the accident, although he has since recovered from those injuries.

Mr Justice McComb approved the £375,000 settlement figure which will be paid by Mr Clarke's motor insurers.

Neither side offered any comment after the 20-minute hearing.

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