Payout for brain-injury pupil

Settlement: The college made a payout to the former student. Picture: The West Australian

A leading Catholic college has paid significant compensation to a former pupil, who claimed he had been discriminated against after suffering serious brain injuries in a car crash in 2010.

Phelim Harrington, 17, and his parents took Prendiville Catholic College and the Catholic Education Office to court claiming the school failed him consistently after he returned to classes after the horrific accident.

Those claims of discrimination included the teenager being given several detentions for forgetting to do his work - despite memory loss being a side effect of his brain injury.

Despite the school denying many of the accusations, the parties this week agreed on a settlement that resulted in Phelim being paid tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

Court documents seen by _The Weekend West _ outline the Harringtons' growing concerns with the way their son was treated after the crash in April 2010.

Phelim had extensive head injuries and nine fractured vertebrae after the car he was a passenger in crashed in remote WA.

Amazingly, he was able to return to school just two months later but immediately began to experience issues.

The family claimed Phelim was punished with the detentions by the school for forgetting to complete homework, or forgetting to wear safety glasses, despite amnesia being a documented symptom of his brain injury.

They also said the teenager was denied a chance to learn woodwork, was not given an independent education plan and was not allowed to use an iPad to take notes or record classes.

As well as damages, the claim demanded apologies from the school and WA's Catholic Education Office, and asked that teachers at the school be trained in dealing with acquired brain injuries.

After an initial claim under human rights legislation was dropped, a writ was issued for unlawful discrimination, which was settled in front of Federal Court Justice Antoni Lucev.

A confidentiality clause in the deed of settlement prevented either party from commenting on the payment.

The Harrington family's lawyer Anthony Longland, of Herbert Smith Freehills, would only confirm the agreement had been reached.

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