Client Y instructed Jonathan Bridge of Farleys Solicitors in August of 2021.
She had suffered terrible abuse during childhood, whilst in the care of Calderdale Council, between the ages of approximately 11 and 16.
The abuse took place primarily in the Halifax area whilst she was in foster placements or in children’s’ homes.
Client Y contended that the Local Authority had been negligent in that care workers were aware of what was happening and had failed to take any or any adequate steps to disrupt the abusers. They knew that she was being picked up by gangs of older men. They knew that she was coming back to her placements in the early hours of the morning and they even took down the registration numbers of the cars of the abusers yet still failed to take appropriate action to protect her.
Client Y contended that a reasonable and competent Local Authority would have moved her to a different area and/or put her into secure accommodation so that the terrible abuse that she was suffering would have stopped. Instead she continued to suffer appalling exploitation. This included multiple rapes. On one occasion she had a gun put to her head. She was tied up and beaten.
Client Y contended that she had suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of the abuse which had impacted upon her ability to work.
How Farleys Were Able to Help
The claim presented many difficulties. The defendant denied liability. Whilst it was not denied that Client Y had suffered terrible abuse, it was denied that a reasonable and competent Local Authority would have taken any steps over and above those taken by Calderdale Council to prevent the abuse.
There were issues in relation to limitation. The claim was brought over a decade out of time and this was a further hurdle that had to be overcome.
Causation of Client Y’s injuries was also in issue. There were suggestions that she may have suffered events in her life prior to the point at which she was taken into care, including abuse, which would have caused or contributed to her symptoms regardless of the defendant’s failings.
This was a complex case where medical evidence was obtained and specialist Counsel instructed. Justin Levinson advised in conference and Farleys prepared a detailed Schedule of Loss. An initial offer of £25,000 was made and rejected and, following protracted negotiations, settlement was finally achieved in the sum of £85,000.
Commenting on her case, Client Y said “Thank you for everything you and your team have done for me I couldn’t be happier thank you”
If you have experienced abuse as a child due to the negligence of the Local Authority, you may be entitled to make a claim for damages. To discuss your experiences in confidence with a member of our specialist abuse claims team, please call 0330 134 6430, contact us by email, or use the online chat below.