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Ben Ridd, 23, who suffered catastrophic head injuries during a high speed power boat race in Portland Harbour has this week been awarded £5.5 million compensation as a result of the injury sustained. Ben was struck by the bows of a sorceror type boat in the accident which happened in June 2005.

The boat which Ben was co-piloting came to a stop in the water but the sorceror boat collided with them as the harbour was so busy and there was nowhere else for the boat to go.

Although Ben was wearing a helmet, this flew off in the collision which knocked him unconscious and threw him into the water.

Ben, through his mother Leanne, sued the Royal Yachting Association which supervise the organisation and safety standards in coastal racing events. The Court found that there was no roll bar on Ben’s boat and that there had been some concern as to whether or not the race should go ahead due to the choppy seas. Ben sustained the most severe head injuries leaving him with permanent mobility and cognitive problems. He has been left paralysed down one side and now uses a stick to get around.

Mr Justice Mitting at the High Court said he had no hesitation in approving the settlement.

Kim Smerdon, Specialist Head Injury Solicitor, comments:

“This was a devastating accident which occurred when Ben was just a teenager. Ben has been left permanently incapacitated and this money gives the family the security of being able to cover the significant costs of ongoing care that Ben will need during his lifetime”.