In 2013, Farleys brought a claim on behalf of Client B with a view that she was failed by her Local Authority as a result of the failings of the Social Services Department during her childhood.
Client B should have been removed from home at the age of 10 years old. The Local Authority failed to remove her and there was a delay of over two and a half years before she was eventually removed, during which time Client B suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect.
Client B was able to rely upon psychiatric evidence from Professor Jenny Shaw who diagnosed Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with a guarded prognosis, which has impacted on loss of earnings to date and which will also present Client B with difficulties in relation to future employment. There are also significant treatment needs.
A Letter of Claim was sent, followed by an open admission of liability in 2017 by the Local Authority. Unfortunately, numerous difficulties then followed.
Thereafter, the Local Authority attempted to resile from this admission following the Court’s decision in CN and GN v Poole Borough Council, stating that a duty of care may not be owed. In subsequent correspondence, Jonathan Bridge (head of the abuse department), argued that the Local Authority is bound by the open admission.
The Local Authority accepted that if they had acted appropriately and to a good standard, Client B would have been removed from the care of her parents by 2010. Client B was in fact not removed from parental care until 2012.
Client B’s claim was brought on the basis that such a delay in removal constitutes a breach of Article 3 (Prohibition of Torture), Article 8 (Right to Respect for Private and Family Life) and also Protocol 1m Article 2 (Right to Education).
Farleys spent a number of years obtaining and reviewing relevant records and negotiating with the Local Authority. The work eventually culminated in a Joint Settlement Meeting and, after negotiations, a figure of £160,000 was agreed to compensate Client B for the injury that she had suffered, her past and future loss of earnings, and the costs of treatment.
Client B commented,
I just wanted to thank the team at Farleys, with a special thanks to Jonathan Bridge, for having such commitment to my case. Thanks to them, I’m now able to give my son a childhood I could only have wished for.
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