Jonathan Bridge head of Farleys Abuse Claims Department was approached by Client Z in 2018 in relation to a potential claim following abuse whilst in the care of Salford City Council.
Client Z had endured an appalling childhood. She was born in 1993 and following difficulties at home was taken into the care of the Local Authority following an Emergency Police Protection Order at the age of 8 years.
Client Z was placed in various children’s homes and, following repeated moves, she was eventually placed at a home in the Rochdale area.
Once within this home she was targeted by gangs in the Rochdale area. She suffered repeated rapes and at the age of 14 was prostituted out by men for profit. There were repeated references to child sexual exploitation within her records right through to her reaching majority at 18 years of age.
How Farleys Were Able to Help
This was an extremely complex claim. The first issue that had to be dealt with was in relation to time limits. A moratorium was agreed with the Defendants and arguments put forward as to why the claim should be allowed to proceed “out of time”. By the time the Client Z had approached Farleys she was already 5 years out of time and it had to be established that there were good reasons for her delay in bringing the claim and that any prejudice to her would outweigh the possible prejudice to the Defendants by her delay. Medical evidence was sought to establish that she could not have progressed the claim at an earlier stage because of her psychiatric injury.
The team at Farleys then worked hard in researching the history to the claim. Records were obtained from various different sources including Social Services, the Police, GP, hospital, and school. In particular, the Social Services records were thoroughly reviewed to pinpoint the areas where Client Z had been failed by the Local Authority. The volume of records in this case was immense and ran to over 28 files. It was only with the painstaking work of Farleys review team that liability could be established against the Defendant.
The claim then became further complicated by causational issues. Whilst Client Z had undoubtedly suffered terrible sexual abuse whilst in the care of the Defendant, she had already been damaged before that point by her earlier life experiences. Medical evidence was sought for an appropriate psychiatric expert to apportion the extent of ongoing problems between incidents which occurred prior to the Defendant’s involvement and incidents which they could have prevented.
The medical evidence confirmed significant ongoing psychiatric issues which were impacting on Client Z’s ability to work and had also affected her education.
Negotiation and Settlement
Justin Levinson of Counsel was instructed on the case. He has dealt with many similar matters and is recognised as an expert in this area. With his help a detailed Schedule of Loss was prepared and negotiations entered into with the Defendant.
Various offers were put forward by the Defendants and rejected before they were eventually persuaded to increase to a settlement offer of £130,000. This included an award for Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity, for the impact that the abuse had had on Client Z’s ability to work and for much needed treatment costs.
As a department Farleys have acted for many victims of grooming gangs. It is understood that this is the highest award achieved in such a case. The in-house review team were crucial to success in this matter reviewing thousands of pages of records in helping to establish liability and ultimately a favourable outcome for our client.
Contact an Abuse Claims Specialist at Farleys
If you have been the victim of abuse, we understand it can be difficult to discuss your experiences. Our specialists are experienced in handling matters of this kind with the sensitivity and confidence they deserve. To speak to someone about the possibility of making a claim, please call our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430, contact us by email or through the online chat below.