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Woman suffers claim setback; Case costs exceed the level of compensation.

Byline: Mark Stead

A WOMAN who sought pounds 1m in compensation after claiming a karate kick to her head triggered serious brain damage has left court effectively empty-handed.

Kate Stratton, of Rhoose in the Vale of Glamorgan, was awarded pounds 12,888 in damages by Mr Justice Morison at the High Court, which sat in Cardiff yesterday.

But the court heard that she will not receive any money since the costs of the case exceeded the damages.

Her legal team have announced that they would be lodging an application to appeal against the level of damages.

Miss Stratton, 26, was injured during a karate class at the Holm View Leisure Centre in Barry in February 1995, when she was 19.

Her parents, Vi and John, launched legal action against their daughter's karate instructor Cliff Brown for up to pounds 1m.

During the hearing last month, Milwyn Jarman QC, representing Miss Stratton, told the court she had developed epilepsy and suffered memory loss following the kick. She also lost her ability to read and write.

He said: "The karate kick she received at the defendant's class at Barry Leisure Centre has left her an invalid for life."

Mr Justice Morison awarded Miss Stratton pounds 10,250 in general damages in compensation for the physical and psychological effects of the karate blow.

But he declined to award her damages for her general condition, which he said could have been caused by traumatic events which the court had heard about in her past.

He said: "The unravelling of her personality, as has occurred, could have been triggered by an event as much as by an 'accident'."

Mr Brown agreed, in an outof-court settlement, to pay 45 per cent of the damages without admitting liability.

Ms Stratton was also awarded special damages, bringing the total award payable to her up to pounds 12,888.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 7, 2002
Words:310
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