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Man Lee Geohagen receives £9m payout after hit and run wrecks his life
A teenager whose life was wrecked when he was knocked of his bicycle has won a court payout of more than £9million.
Lee Geohagen was just 14-years-old when he and his brother were cycling along Bittacy Rise, in Mill Hill, in June 2004.
The pair had been cycling on the pavement and as Lee went down a dropped curb and began to ride across the road, he was struck by a Fiat Punto.
He was left with head injuries and traumatic brain damage, which will blight him for the rest of his life.
Now 24, Lee was so badly injured he is considered incapable of managing his own affairs, he will never be able to work and will need lifelong care.
Tyre marks on the road suggested the Fiat was speeding and already veering onto the wrong side of the road when it hit the teenager.
But instead of staying to tend to the stricken teenager, the uninsured driver quickly fled on foot.
When he was tracked down, Jose Rasgado claimed he had only been a passenger in the car, but later pleaded guilty for driving while disqualified and without insurance.
He disappeared after Lee made a claim for damages, so lawyers sought a payout from the Motor Insurers Bureau, the industry body that compensates victims of uninsured drivers.
Yesterday, after litigation that has dragged on for more than five years, the MIB agreed to settle Lee's claim on the basis of 70 per cent liability.
He will receive a lump sum of £2.6 million, as well as index-linked and tax-free payments of £120,000-a-year to cover the costs of his care for life.
Lee's solicitor, Huw Ponting, confirmed outside court that the total settlement - which was approved by Mrs Justice Andrews - was valued at a little over £9 million.
John Ross QC, for Lee, earlier said of Mr Rasgado: "He was uninsured and, we believe, untraced. He is certainly untraced so far as we are concerned."
The barrister confirmed that the MIB will now attempt to track the driver down and recover as much money as it can from him.
Mrs Justice Andrews praised Lee's mother for the unstinting care she has given him since the accident.
"I obviously pay tribute to Lee's mother for the enormous efforts she has made to look after him. It is distressing for any mother to face such a tragic situation."
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