THE parents of a young boy left severely handicapped in a road accident are to receive what is believed to be a record payment for damages after settling out of court yesterday. Theresa and Henry Louie had claimed $50 million for their eight-year-old son, who was knocked over by a Discovery Bay mini-van in April 1992. The parents have been banned by a secrecy clause in the settlement from revealing the precise sum which they are to receive. The case is the first of its kind since a landmark judgment last month paved the way for payments to injury victims to soar. Christian Louie has been left with severe brain damage and is confined to a wheelchair as a result of the accident. His ability to communicate will be frozen at the level of a four-year-old. Christian went with his parents to the High Court for a case which was to be heard before Mr Justice Cheung, who made the ground-breaking ruling. But a settlement was reached outside court with the Discovery Bay Transit Services Ltd and the driver of the van, Chan Chi-ming. Details of the agreement were given to the judge behind closed doors. He will consider the settlement before giving his approval. Helen Pang, a solicitor representing the transit firm's insurers, said she could not reveal the sum to be paid to the parents because of the terms of the settlement. 'Perhaps there has been a higher amount, no one knows,' she said. Ms Pang rejected a suggestion that the need for secrecy was to protect insurance companies which fear increases in payments for injury victims. But she said there were many other similar cases in the pipeline. There was no explanation why the sum had to be confidential. In a written opening prepared for the case, Neville Sarony, QC, for the parents, said Christian had been left in a twilight world. Before the accident he had been a lively, intelligent boy with a promising future ahead of him - now he was totally dependent on others in every aspect of his life. ''This little boy, who previously had the ability to communicate with fluency in three languages, can now barely communicate in one,' said Mr Sarony. The boy's parents came to Hong Kong from Canada. He was born in the territory and could speak Cantonese, Mandarin and English. The family moved to Discovery Bay because they were worried about the dangers posed by heavy traffic on Hong Kong Island. Mr Sarony said: 'They chose to move to Lantau for the very reason that it was a quiet, virtually traffic-free, safe environment in which to allow Christian to grow.' Christian was knocked over and almost killed moments after alighting from his school bus. The driver of the mini-van which hit him was fined $500 for careless driving. The defendants in the civil action claimed the parents were partly responsible for the accident because they allowed him to travel on the bus and cross the road to school unaccompanied. On October 30, Mr Justice Cheung awarded $6.5 million to a girl left badly brain-damaged after being knocked down by a bus. In his ruling he said payments to injury victims in Hong Kong should be doubled to bring them into line with those in Britain.