Farleys were approached by the Official Solicitor in 2012 to act on behalf of 2 children who had suffered terrible neglect during childhood. Care proceedings had concluded and the Judge in the Family Court had been critical of Social Services involvement with the family.
Full initial instructions were taken and efforts made to obtain permission to access the care files and obtain all other relevant records including Social Services records, GP records and educational records for the 2 children.
After prolonged correspondence with the Local Authority full Social Services records were eventually received. They ran to over 12,000 pages.
Farleys’ specialist review department carried out a forensic examination of the Social Services records highlighting the various incidences where it was alleged that Social Services had failed the children, in particular by failing to remove them from their parent’s care.
As a result it was contended that the children had suffered extreme neglect and possible sexual abuse.
It was accepted by the Local Authority that they should have removed the children from their parent’s care earlier but the date of removal was not agreed. Both parties therefore obtained independent social work evidence and after some further discussion a compromise position was reached.
Thereafter a leading expert in child and adolescent psychiatry was instructed to prepare a report in relation to both Claimants.
The Claimants had by this stage reached majority and were able to provide instruction themselves rather than via the Official Solicitor.
Further correspondence was entered into with the Defendants and it was eventually agreed that a Joint Settlement Meeting may well be the best way of resolving the 2 cases without Court proceedings being necessary.
Accordingly a meeting took place in April of 2017. Detailed Schedules of Loss and Counter Schedules were exchanged and after a day of negotiation a settlement was reached whereby each Claimant would receive £200,000.00 in compensation for the damage done to them by the Local Authority’s failure to remove them from their parent’s care soon enough. The various components of this award included pain, suffering and loss of amenity, cost of future treatment, past and future loss of earnings and some loss of support.
Both Claimants were delighted with the settlements achieved which will allow them the security of buying a property and having some monies in a Trust Fund to safeguard their future.
The team who acted on behalf of the girls were Justin Levinson of Counsel and Jonathan Bridge of Farleys Solicitors.
Commenting on the case Jonathan said:
“We were delighted to achieve such a substantial settlement for these 2 deserving Claimants. Lifelong damage can be done to children who are left in an abusive situation and it is important that Local Authorities are held to account when they fail to remove the children with due expedition”.