The Child Abuse Litigation Team in IM’s Birmingham office has recently settled a case concerning a local authority’s failure to remove a family group from an environment in which they were suffering severe physical and sexual abuse. The family was awarded over £1 million in damages in the larges settlement of its kind to date.
The case concerned failures on the part of a social work team to act upon numerous referrals and concerning reports made over many years. The failures led to a group of very vulnerable children been exposed to several years of avoidable physical and sexual abuse.
The award has been made to help the family members rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the experiences they had when they were younger. Expert evidence was obtained from a variety of experts dealing with issues such as the cost of future counselling and psychiatric treatment, support with day to day activities, help with getting back in to education and then on to employment. In addition, the legal team obtained evidence on how the family’s physical development had been adversely affected by their parents’ failure to ensure that regular and standard dental and optical appointments were kept throughout their childhood and the cost of restorative work was also claimed.
Luke Daniels, an Associate in IM’s Birmingham office, represented the family and said at the conclusion of the case that “whilst this is a large award it cannot turn the clock back and the family need this money to help pay for the support they need now to obtain some independence and to help deal with what they have been through. We really hope that the local authority involved, and others working in the social care arena who read about the case and about what this family endured take steps to make sure that similar errors are not made in the future. These children were failed twice, by their own families and then by their local authority who is responsible for protecting them and that is a situation which cannot be allowed to continue.”
Luke Daniels, Associate