Client D was born in 1997. He suffered neglect and physical abuse with a suggestion of sexual abuse during his childhood.
It was alleged that the Local Authority were negligent and/or in breach of duty and/or in breach of the Human Rights Act in that the local Social Services department should have intervened to remove Client D from his parents care. Had they done this he would have been spared the majority of the abuse that he suffered.
Farleys accepted instructions initially from the Official Solicitor who acted as Litigation Friend to the Claimant and thereafter from the Claimant in person when he reached 18 years of age.
Leave was obtained from the Court to obtain documents that were relevant to the care from Care Proceedings and the Claimants Social Services records were also obtained and fully reviewed.
On the basis of these documents Farleys contended that Client D had a strong case that he should have been removed from his parents care.
After protracted negotiation with the Local Authority it was eventually accepted that he should have been removed at the age of two years and that he would either then have been adopted or placed with long term foster parents.
The claim therefore revolved around the difference between the outcome for the Claimant based on the eight/nine years of avoidable neglect and abuse as opposed to the stable home and stable upbringing he should have enjoyed.
Causation was difficult. There were suggestions that the Claimant had suffered various other unrelated incidents in his life that would have contributed to future psychiatric problems.
Records were obtained from various sources including GP, CAMHS, Social Services, school and former solicitors to build a picture of the impact the abuse and neglect had had upon the Claimant.
It transpires that Client D had suffered terribly during childhood. He suffered cigarette burns on his wrists. He was raised in an atmosphere of domestic violence. He was neglected. He attended school in a dirty and smelly state which led to bullying. This in turn impacted on his education. There were suggestions of inter sibling abuse.
Medical evidence was sought which suggested that the Claimant was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his experiences.
Farleys successfully concluded the claim at a Joint Settlement Meeting without the need for a full Trial with the cooperation of the Local Authority. Damages were awarded to compensate the Claimant for the pain and suffering that he had endured together with a contribution to the handicap he would now have on the open labour market because of his psychiatric symptoms and most importantly provision for the cost of any treatment the Claimant would require for his psychiatric symptoms.
The Claimant was delighted with the settlement of £100,000.
Commenting on the case Jonathan Bridge, partner in the Abuse Law department, said
“We were delighted to secure this settlement for Client D. Despite the childhood adversities that he suffered he has now matured into a responsible adult who is pursuing a worthwhile career and it is hoped that this settlement will help safeguard his future and provide him with any treatment that he may require in the future”.
The legal team on behalf of Client D were Justin Levinson of Counsel and Jonathan Bridge of Farleys solicitors.