Following the airing of the Exposure documentary on ITV two weeks ago, the allegations against Jimmy Savile of abusing girls and young people have snowballed. Whilst Savile is no longer alive to defend himself, the sheer quantity of allegations made against him, along with the fact that the majority of the alleged abuse collaborate with each other, it now seems almost certain that Savile exploited his fame and position of trust to gain access and abuse young and potentially vulnerable victims.
At Farleys Solicitors we specialise in abuse compensation claims and we were recently contacted by a National newspaper to comment on the Jimmy Savile case and how his victims are likely to be compensated. We have already been contacted by a number of individuals wanting to make compensation claims after they were prompted by the extensive media coverage that the Savile case has attracted.
Savile died on 29th October 2011 at his home in Roundhay, Leeds and the question now arises as to who can be held responsible for his actions. Vicarious liability is the liability of someone for the acts or omissions of someone else. The doctrine has expanded through case law in recent years to include the intentional act of sexual assault. This means that if Jimmy Savile was in a position of employee or agent at the BBC or the NHS then these organisations could potentially be held vicariously liable for his actions. The BBC could be held to owe a duty of care to the youngsters involved in the television programmes and the hospitals a duty to the patients residing there. Victims may also have separate Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims.
Savile is said to have sexually abused individuals as young as 10 over a period spanning four decades at establishments ranging from the BBC premises where he filmed “Jim’ll Fix it’; to Leeds General Infirmary; Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Broadmoor Hospital. Reports are now circulating that members of staff at the various establishments knew of the abuse taking place and alerted their superiors, but the majority of complaints were brushed off due to Savile’s high profile position or a lack of evidence. The BBC’s Director General has already issued a profound apology to all of the victims.
Scotland Yard has recently stated that the investigation into Savile’s abuse of young people is now fuelled by approximately 340 separate lines of inquiry. There are around 40 victims who have come forward so far and up to 15 police forces across the country are currently investigating allegations against the former presenter.
The BBC has promised two separate investigations – one of which will cover the reasons for postponing a BBC Newsnight programme last year which was due to investigate Savile; and the second will be a more general investigation, due to take place once the police inquiries have been concluded.
Our abuse department at Farleys deals with a variety of sexual abuse cases on a daily basis. We have successfully represented victims who have been abused at schools, religious institutions, charitable establishments and scouting venues, helping victims to claim the compensation they deserve. For examples of the compensation settlements we have secured for victims of abuse, click here.