Claim Now

April 17th 2018

Abuse

Supreme Court to make crucial ruling over local authority care claims and justice for children

Malcolm Johnson

Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor, Abuse

Supreme Court to make crucial ruling over local authority care claims and justice for children

Over the past few years a number of children have brought damages claims against their local authorities for failing to take them into care, when it was plain they had been at risk within their own families.

Over the past few years a number of children have brought damages claims against their local authorities for failing to take them into care, when it was plain they had been at risk within their own families.

Such cases are usually referred to as ‘failure to intervene’ or ‘failure to remove’ children known to be at risk.

Children already in care are also currently able to sue local authorities, and in one case, a child put through 40 different foster placements received compensation from the local authority.

However, what duty of care do local authorities owe children in their area to protect them from harm by third parties, and in situations where it is not parental neglect or harm at home which is the cause of suffering?

This is an area of law which set to come consideration in July of this year at the UK Supreme Court, when the claimants in the case of CN & GN v Poole Borough Council appeal a decision of the Court of Appeal.

It is a hearing which could have far-reaching consequences with regards to justice for children who are let down and exposed to harm by others.

Children were abused by another family having been rehomed by council

The Claimants in the case were two children (one of whom was severely disabled). They alleged that the defendant local authority had negligently failed to take appropriate and necessary steps to safeguard them.

They children were the target of prolonged abuse perpetrated by members of another family who lived on the estate on which they were housed by the defendant authority, between May 2006 and December 2011.

The local authority apologised for what happened to them, and so the two children brought a claim directly against the local authority.

However, as the law stands courts are very reluctant to say that a local authority owes a duty of care to people in this kind of position, and the claims were struck out.

Supreme Court decision must bring clarity over local authorities’ duty of care

The claims have risen through the courts right to where we now stand.

They were initially reinstated on appeal, but then the local authority went direct to the Court of Appeal which ruled this was a case where the local authority had no duty of care towards these unfortunate children.

The Claimants’ lawyers had tried to argue that under the Children Act 1989, the local authority should have done more for them, and they are now heading to the UK Supreme Court to fight it out.

The Supreme Court ruling, which should follow soon after the hearing, could have a big impact on claims in the future. It must bring clarity over the full extent of a local authority’s duty of care.

Given our work in acting for children in the care system at Hudgell Solicitors, it is a matter we will be watching closely, and a ruling we hope ensures the legal process of pursuing justice for children is not compromised in any way.

 

 

 

 

What Our Clients Say

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Efficient"

Quick, efficient service provided by Jayne Woodock. Would definitely contact Hudgell Solicitors again in the future if the need arises

Kerry2019-10-10

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Thank you"

I have never had to go down the route of claiming for anything like this so when I was advised to do so I did some research and Hugell Solicitors caught my eye. And I’m so glad I picked them, everything was explained well and helped with any questions I…

Zoe2019-10-04

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"No problems from start to finish for my…"

No problems from start to finish for my claim.Kept updated regularly and a good outcome even though the defendants were being evasive. Thanks.

r3monkey2019-10-03

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Very professional,efficient service,informative and friendly service. I would highly recommend Hudgell solicitors.

Helen2019-10-01

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good experience"

Good experience

Margaret Elizabeth2019-08-31

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Friendly, helpful and professional.

M J J2019-08-09

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"I would recommend this firm of…solicitor to anyone"

I would recommend this firm of solicitor to anyone I have had a 5 star treatment from Jayne woodcock I cant praise her enough she kept me informed every step of my claim and I cannot thank her enough excellent Jimmy Mcdermott

Jimmy Mc2019-07-28

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Very helpful and thorough"

Very helpful and thorough. The team kept me updated throughout. Thank you

Esme2019-07-25

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Couldn’t fault Hudgell Solicitors."

Couldn’t fault Hudgell Solicitors. They were professional, pleasant informative and helpful and got a result which was better than I had ever expected. When Becci left the practice and Alex took over my claim it was a seamless change over, indicating a personel strength in depth. Thank you.

Vic.2019-07-24

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Case still ongoing"

Case still ongoing, excellent communication between myself and solicitor.. 🤞🏻 for good outcome

Quantity2019-07-13

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent and fast"

Excellent and fast. I won’t go anywhere else from now on

Aimee2019-06-27

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Very helpful"

Listened too, great advice and feel rejuvenated by their response. Really helpful feedback and will hopefully be using these people soon!

Mr Procter2019-06-25

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Great Service"

Hudgell Solicitors dealt with my case very quickly and effectively. The contact and communication was excellent throughout. I would certainly recommend

Tracy2019-06-19

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Fantastic service"

Fantastic service, on the ball with everything and good outcome

Hayley coleman2019-06-17