Client BB instructed Jonathan Bridge at Farleys Solicitors in 2016 following physical and sexual abuse suffered during childhood.
As a child BB had been raised in a physically abusive environment. His mother had health problems which meant that she was unable to protect him. His father questioned whether he was actually his natural son and as a result used to victimise him and beat him. He would be beaten on a daily basis and would have to miss PE lessons at school to avoid people seeing his bruises.
By the age of 12 his father committed a serious criminal act and was imprisoned.
His mother’s health issues left her vulnerable and she began a relationship with a paedophile. For the next three years child BB was further abused by his mother’s new partner to include sexual abuse.
A claim was intimated to the Local Authority and liability was initially denied. The case of CN v Poole was very relevant to the extent that the Local Authority contended no duty of care arose.
Farleys obtained and reviewed the Claimant’s Social Services records which helpfully provided confirmation that a Care Order had been made when the Claimant was 13 years of age. As a result Farleys were able to argue that any damage done to the Claimant from the age of 13 onwards was actionable under the case of Barrett v Enfield Council.
BB’s claim is a good example of the distinction that now arises between actions for pre removal failings which are going to be far more difficult after CN v Poole and actions for post removal failings where the Local Authority will still have a clear duty of care on the basis of Barrett v Enfield.
In this particular case despite the Care Order BB was allowed to remain with his mother suffering a number of years abuse.
The claim was further complicated by causation issues. The Defendants argued that various other factors that were beyond their control had resulted in the Claimant’s ongoing psychiatric injury. This would include the neglect and physical abuse prior to the age of 13 together with environmental and genetic factors.
Farleys obtained detailed medical evidence from a specialist adult psychiatrist. Farleys argued that not only should the Claimant be entitled to an award for his injury from the age of 13 onwards but that he should also receive compensation for the impact the abuse had on his education and subsequent employability.
Following negotiation with the Defendants Farleys successfully concluded the claim securing an award of £60,000 for client BB.
This is a particularly interesting case as one of the first to settle after CN v Poole.
To contact a member of Farleys experienced abuse team in confidence, call our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430 or contact us by email.