It was recently reported that Essex County Council had paid 1 million pounds in damages to four claimants who were the victims of abuse in the 1990’s. The claimants, all siblings, were awarded the sum after it was uncovered that the negligence of social services allowed them to be subject to abuse at the hands of their father.

The facts of the case are similar to many we deal with.  The Council became aware of the father’s history of sexually abusing children, yet still allowed him contact with the children without adequate supervision.  There were a series of serious errors, including delays and a failure to carry out adequate risk assessments, all of which allowed the children to be exposed to the risk of further abuse at their father’s hands.

The significance of this case is not only the “shocking’ catalogue of errors by the Council (which we come across all too often) but also the level of damages awarded.  The damages awarded in this case are amongst the highest I have seen; indicating that the Courts are taking abuse claims which involve Social Services neglect very seriously, and as a result, are more likely to award significant damages to the victims.

There are many aspects of the case which mirror the present cases we are dealing with.  The case shows that if you have suffered abuse as a child where Social Services could have intervened to protect you, there may be a claim, even if this happened many years ago.

Farleys have a dedicated team of solicitors who specialise pursuing abuse claims, many of which involve the negligence or misconduct of social services. If you would like to obtain legal advice about making a claim for abuse, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free of charge, confidential discussion.