Court threat against Haringey in battle to increase care for brain injury teenager
11:00 01 June 2012
The family of a “beautiful” teenager left needing round-the-clock care after a road accident may take Haringey Council to the High Court to force the authority to increase the care it provides for her.
Alexandra Park School pupil Anita Konkel was left severely disabled and in need of round-the-clock care after the accident in Albert Road, Muswell Hill, in April 2010, as she walked home from school.
A High Court judge on Monday approved a settlement of £750,000 to pay for the 18-year-old’s ongoing needs after her mother, Dorothy Kasprus, sued the driver of the car for damages.
But the court heard the settlement is only enough to cover the costs of her care for six or seven years, falling far short of the many millions of pounds Anita needs to help her later in life.
Lawyers also said they are considering launching a judicial review challenge to the level of support and accommodation Anita has received from Haringey Council - which was described as a “patchwork quilt approach”.
Anita had been walking home with friends when she was struck by the car when she was aged 16. The driver was on her way home to Bounds Green with her daughter sitting in the front seat at the time of the crash.
The court heard how one of Anita’s friends was shielding Anita’s view of Albert Road, when she went to cross and stepped into the path of an oncoming car.
The driver had made eye-contact with Anita’s friend and thought all the girls would stay on the pavement, but she hit Anita, who knocked her head against the vehicle.
Anita, who now lives in Clarence Road, Bounds Green, had been preparing for her GCSEs and dreamed of being a movie and theatre designer before the crash left her disabled.
Approving the settlement, Mrs Justice Thirlwall praised the extraordinary love and hard work of Anita’s family, who continue to provide most of her care.
The judge said: “Anita was a beautiful girl and is now a beautiful woman and I have no doubt that it is heartbreaking for her mother, aunt and father to know the future that they no doubt expected for her is no longer going to be hers.
“It is perfectly obvious to me that what Anita does have, which many people do not, is the unstinting devotion of a very loving mother, who has done everything she can to get the best for her and her life.
“It is humbling for us in the courts to see such courage and devotion and I pay tribute to it.”
A spokeswoman for Haringey Council said: “QUOTE TO COME