Friday, 13 November 2015

Appeal rejected for damages against Nottinghamshire County Council

"A woman who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of foster parents in Nottingham when she was a child has lost her Appeal Court bid for damages from the council responsible for her care."
"Three judges unanimously rejected an appeal by 38-year-old Natasha Armes against the loss of her High Court damages claim against Nottinghamshire County Council."

"She claimed the authority had a duty to protect her from deliberate harm by those looking after her."

"Lord Justice Tomlinson said Nottingham-based Ms Armes, who had waived her right to anonymity, "`has led a tragic life`."

"He said: `She had had a very unhappy childhood and her unhappy childhood experiences had cast a long shadow over her life.`"

"When she was just eight-years-old she was placed by the council with foster parents known only as Mr and Mrs A between March 1985 and March 1986."

"And she was aged between nine and ten-years-old while with foster parents "Mr and Mrs. B", from October 1987 and February 1988."

"In both placements she was abused."

Insurance companies might rest easier after this decision.
Suesspiciousminds explains some of the legal points about vicarious liability.
(The) fundamental question for the Court of Appeal here was `Can the Council be vicariously liable for criminal actions carried out by foster carers?`
The judgement was that the Council was not liable because foster care is like the family.
But could the Local Authority still be liable under negligence, that is, if they had known of the abuse and failed to stop it or had disallowed it from being reported in the first place?
Forcedadoption in the comments points out how foster care differs from family life.
Parents often "have to sign an agreement before contact is allowed forbidding them to mention their case, or the possibility of the child returning home or to criticise the Foster carer. I have seen a great many such agreements and even posted two on my site !Free speech forbidden!.."
"Similarly phones etc are confiscated in every case of the thousand I have come across and once taken into care (often by armed police at 7am!) children cannot then phone family or friends. Isolation occurs in EVERY case unlike serial killers who can phone out from prison to their families but children when taken into care cannot !How disgraceful and illegal is that???"

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