Client D was born in the North of England in 1991. He was born to parents who not only neglected him but also subjected him to physical violence. He was eventually removed from his parent’s care in June 1995 at the age of 4.
He instructed Jonathan Bridge at Farleys Solicitors to investigate the possibility of a claim against Social Services. In this case the allegation was that they should have known that our client was being abused by his parents and that they failed to intervene to prevent this abuse and were therefore negligent and/or in breach of their duty to him.
How Farleys were able to help
The case raised various complex issues. The first was in relation to liability. Client D and his family were not known to Social Services at birth and it was only when he was nearly 3 years of age that he came to Social Services attention, having suffered a fracture to his left femur at the hands of his father.
Having carried out a thorough review of all available records it was established that Social Services could not have been at fault for the initial period of abuse that the Claimant sustained, but a concession was made such that Social Services should have removed the Claimant at the date of the broken femur and that they would be responsible for any damage caused to the Claimant thereafter prior to eventual removal in 1995.
This claim was also complex in terms of quantum. There were various contributory factors to our client’s ongoing psychiatric injury, to include the abuse that occurred prior to the Council’s negligence for which they could have no responsibility. There were also suggestions that he had suffered sexual abuse later in life, particularly when in Prison and that this would have contributed to ongoing problems. Furthermore, there was also a suggestion that our client would have been genetically susceptible to psychiatric problems regardless of the abuse because of problems his parents had shown.
Despite these difficulties, Farleys were able to pursue the claim on Client D’s behalf and establish liability on the part of the Council for the abuse suffered from the date on which the client should have been removed in early 1994, through to his eventual removal in June 1995.
At a Joint Settlement Meeting a resolution was negotiated with the Local Council whereby the Claimant would be paid the sum of £85,000, together with his full legal costs to compensate him for the injuries he had sustained and in particular the psychiatric injury. The award had various components to include damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, treatment costs and an element of loss of earnings.