Farleys have a growing reputation in acting for abuse victims arising from participation in sport. In addition to advising various professional footballers we have also now been approached by victims in other sporting contexts to include tennis, swimming, and even crown green bowls.
In 2016, Jonathan Bridge, head of abuse claims at Farleys, was approached by Claimant D in relation to a potential claim following grooming and sexual abuse by a coach at her local swimming club.
Claimant D had been a very promising swimmer. She came from a stable family background and her siblings had gone on to successful careers.
Up until the age of 11 Claimant D had had a very happy childhood. She attended the local swimming club and was coached by a man some 30 years her senior. He groomed her and began to sexually abuse her. The abuse included full sexual intercourse and continued throughout her teenage years. The abuser also took videos and photographs of the Claimant.
At the age of 18 the Claimant confided in a friend and the police were informed. The abuser was arrested and imprisoned for what he had done.
Claimant D was significantly affected by her experience. She began to misuse alcohol and drugs. She had problems with the police and eventually was detained under the Mental Health Act for a number of years.
Claimant D eventually began to recover from her ordeal and was well enough to instruct Farleys to consider a claim on her behalf.
The claim had many difficulties. As with so many abuse victims the initial problem was that the Claimant was a long way outside limitation for bringing her case. She was over a decade outside the relevant limitation period when she first consulted the firm and a moratorium on limitation was immediately agreed with the Defendants to allow time to investigate the case further.
Again there were many causation issues. Claimant D was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder and there was dispute between the relevant medical experts as to the extent to which this was caused by the abuse. This in turn impacted on the various claims that were put forward for past and future loss of earnings, care needs, and even travel costs.
Again a common difficulty for abuse victims is self-harm and in this particular case Claimant D had significant scarring which had to be addressed with the report of a skin camouflage expert.
After 3 years the case progressed to the point where all evidence was ready and a Joint Settlement Meeting was held with the Defendant’s representatives in London. Following a full day of negotiation a settlement was eventually reached that was acceptable to both parties giving the Claimant a net compensatory sum of £330,000.00. This was to compensate the Claimant for the pain and suffering that she had had together with her past and future loss of earnings, care costs and the costs of skin camouflage makeup-up. The Claimant’s costs were additionally paid in full by the Defendants.
The Claimant was delighted with the settlement achieved and felt that she could now close this chapter of her life and that the sum secured would help her build a new and more positive future.
To contact a member of Farleys’ abuse department in confidence please call our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430 or email us.