The Claimant, Client X was taken into care at the age of 14 years old following suspicions of Social Services that she had been assaulted by her step-father.
During her first foster placement at the age of 14, she met a man in his 20’s. A sexual relationship developed and around 4 weeks into the relationship, he began to use Client X for his financial gain. At first she was sleeping with the perpetrator’s friends before being forced to prostitute herself.
Not only was her Social Worker aware of this relationship, but upon the review of Social Services Records by our review team, it was revealed that the relationship was actually condoned and encouraged by the Social Worker. An example of this encouragement was the Social Worker accompanying Client X and the perpetrator on a shopping trip, despite being aware that the perpetrator had been charged for procuring women into prostitution. Our client was eventually released from care into the perpetrator’s custody, even though the Local Authority was aware of the risks that she faced, and the aforementioned criminal charges.
When Client X fell pregnant with the perpetrator’s child, he deemed her to be of no further use to him and arranged for her to physically attacked by a gang of young girls. This induced her into early labour and her baby tragically survived only one day before passing away.
Overcoming Issues with limitation
This claim was complicated due to limitation issues. Client X decided to pursue the claim around 30 years following her time in care. Such claims are difficult to pursue successfully if the Defendant can argue that it has been prejudiced by the Claimant’s delay, rendering a fair trial impossible.
Farleys were able to successfully argue that due to psychiatric damage and the heinous nature of the incidents, our client felt immense feelings of embarrassment, which explained her delay in wanting to pursue the claim due to the inevitability of having to revisit her experiences. As a result of Client X’s experience in care, she now suffers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Following the instruction of a medical expert to prepare a psychiatric report, our team were able to negotiate an offer with the Defendant’s representatives, which took account of her psychiatric injuries, the need for treatment and the cost of a headstone for the grave of her deceased child. The damages totalled £35,000.
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