Background to the case

The Local Authority removed Client T from the care of her mother after being aware for a prolonged period of time that her mother was an alcoholic and presented risks to Client T.

Consequently, Client T was placed in a care home where she was sexually abused by an employee that worked there. This was reported to the police who investigated the perpetrator.

Due to becoming aware of the sexual abuse, the Local Authority removed Client T from the first care home and placed her into an alternative care home. Unfortunately, it was during this placement that Client T was again subjected to sexual abuse over a protracted period of time. The second perpetrator was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and 10 years on the Sexual Offenders Register.

The abuse that Client T experienced has resulted in her suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.

Issues to overcome

As Client T was sexually abused by two employees of two separate care homes, liability was difficult to establish.

Through instructing a barrister and attending at conference, Farleys was able to identify that there were two defendants liable, that being the owners of each of the two care homes where Client T had resided. Both employers of the perpetrators assumed a responsibility for the welfare of Client T and owed a duty of care to her, which was breached.

Farleys successfully argued that the two employers were vicariously liable for the conduct of their employees and, therefore, vicariously liable for the loss and damage caused to Client T.

The measure of damages was also a complex matter in this case. This is because prior to removal by the Local Authority, Client T was exposed to a number of risks due to being in the care of an alcoholic mother and she was also sadly raped by a member of her community. Client T’s experiences prior to being in the care of the Local Authority meant that it could be argued that they were the cause of the psychiatric injuries sustained by Client T, rather than the sexual abuse experienced during her time in care.

However, Farleys was able to commission a psychiatrist to prepare a medical report. The report successfully evidenced that Client T’s psychiatric illnesses were 50% attributable to her time in the care of the Local Authority where she was residing in the care homes and subjected to sexual abuse.

Successful settlement

The Defendants consequently made a settlement offer of £70,000 to Client T, which is reflective of the horrific sexual abuse that she was victim to over a protracted period of time and the injuries that she has sustained as a result.

Farleys has an experienced team of solicitors who understand that speaking about incidents of abuse can be extremely difficult. If you are interested in pursuing a claim, please contact us on 0330 134 6430, email us or use our online chat services to have a confidential discussion with a member of the team.