Overwhelming support for Layton’s lifetime care
PETITION AND FUNDRAISER FOR INJURED BOY
AN ONLINE petition seeking compensation for 12year-old Layton Smith, of Claremont Meadows, has gained more than 32,000 supporters.
In September 2004, a van crossed to the wrong side of the Great Western Highway in Mt Druitt, hitting the Smiths’ car, injuring both parents and baby Layton, then almost two. He suffered irreparable damage to his brain and body.
Since the crash, NRMA Insurance has covered medical bills, including compensation to Layton’s mother Tracey. However, the crash was later pronounced “blameless” because the driver suffered a heart attack, and compulsory third party insurance protections didn’t apply.
Layton’s father Troy Smith said the public’s support had been fantastic.
“They are understanding our situation, because this could happen to anyone, at any time and we’re hoping for a positive outcome,” he said.
“For the first five years (after the accident) we dedicated our time to Layton and his speech and occupational therapy, physio, everything to try and get his left-hand side working. In the background NRMA looked at covering the bills.
“But since the case went to court and NRMA were found not liable, we are asking: what happens here?”
At the time of the crash, the NSW Compulsory Third Party Scheme only applied if the driver was at fault. Had it happened today, Layton would have lifetime care.
Family friend Emma Darcy launched the petition on change.org to try an secure this care for Layton.
A fundraiser will also be held on September 25 at the Major Oak Theatre Restaurant in St Marys to raise money for Layton’s treatments and trust fund.
“I couldn’t sit back and do nothing,” Ms Darcy said.
A spokesman for NRMA Insurance said the insurer would continue to work with Services Minister Dominic Perrottet, the Lifetime Care and Support Authority and the National Disability Insurance Scheme on Layton’s future treatment needs.
“We’re certainly not going to leave Layton and his fam- ily in a situation where there is no treatment and support, which is why we have supported the assessment for eligibility into the NDIS,” he said.
“Our support continued for the last 10 years and it has been significant – above and beyond what the scheme warranted at the time. We will continue to provide support for Layton’s therapy and rehabilitation until September 1, by which time we anticipate he will have been assessed for entry into the scheme.”
Mr Smith believed CTP legislation needed to be changed to cover the vehicle rather than the driver.
Layton Smith, who suffered brain and body damage after a car crash in Mt Druitt 11 years ago (inset), cuddles up to dad Troy.