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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 26 March, 2003, 08:34 GMT
Crash victim's court despair
Court symbol
A High Court judge has made a ruling in Louise Sowden's case
A woman who suffered severe brain damage as a result of a car accident has had her hopes of an independent life dashed by a High Court judge.

Louise Sowden, 24, from Doncaster, suffered the injury as a teenager in September 1992.

And now a hearing in the High Court, in London, has started to determine the level of compensation Ms Sowden should receive.

Lawyers acting for the 24-year-old however, have failed to convince the judge, Mr Justice Andrew Smith, to award her enough money to live at home with a team of carers.

The judge rejected a claim for 2.8m in damages to pay for a private care regime, saying she would be better off in a residential care home.

Final settlement

Although Ms Sowden will still be due a sizeable sum in compensation against the driver involved in the accident, the final settlement may be below 2m.

The crash victim is now cared for at a residential home in West Yorkshire, but can only stay there until she is 25.

The case will be settled at a future court hearing.

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