[Please note: The judgement on this case has now been made. You can read about the decision and what it means for claimants here]
On Thursday 6th June 2019 the Supreme Court will hand down a judgment that many individuals and organisations, including our specialist Abuse Department have been eagerly awaiting.
What did the Court of Appeal previously decide ?
CN & GN v Poole Borough Council was last decided by the Court of Appeal in December 2017 where it ruled that –
No duty of care was owed by the local authority towards two children who had been harassed and abused by a neighbouring family
Social workers cannot be found negligent in such situations, aside from in certain and limited circumstances
At the time, the decision was a real disappointment to many potential clients who believed they had been failed by their respective Authorities. Thankfully the Court of Appeal decision was the subject of an appeal to the Supreme Court that was heard over two days in July 2018. Consequently many claims were put on a temporary hold pending Thursdays judgment.
On the 6th June, the highest Court in the land will pass guidance on –
How much the local authority owes a duty of care to children and
The extent to which individual social workers hold a similar duty in protecting children from all types of harm perpetrated either by parents, step-parents, relatives and even neighbours.
Since the Court of Appeals decision, we have, as leading legal professionals in this field, been forced to spend much of the last 18 months explaining to our existing Clients that their once ‘high prospect of success claims’ may subsequently fail as a result of what we consider to be an unjust decision.
We are a firm who specialises in these types of matters and collectively, we have continuously questioned the fairness of the result that has emanated from Poole as we continue to represent many hundreds of Clients who have suffered sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse.
We have always believed that our Clients deserve recompense for the suffering that they have endured due to the failings of others and we would hope that the Supreme Court decision on Thursday will be one that reflects our view.
We will report further once the Supreme Court judgment is known.
To speak with our specialist abuse team please call 0330 134 6430 or send an enquiry through our online contact form.