£15,000 Child Abuse Compensation Awarded Case Study

Author:
Thomas Schofield
Trainee Solicitor
Date:
12/04/2019

Client Situation

Our Child Abuse Solicitors represented a client who had been sexually abused by a member of staff at a school in the 1970s. He was touched inappropriately on a number of occasions. He told us about the abuse in January 2018.

We were already taking action against the Local Authority in respect of abuse by the same member of staff at the school in the 1970s and 80s. As part of a larger investigation we had obtained extensive records from the Local Authority regarding the staff member and the former pupils we represented.

This matter had been going on for several years and a Trial had been set in respect of some of the former pupils who had been abused, with two further Trials listed in 2019 and 2020 for more former pupils who were abused.

How We Helped

Our Child Abuse Solicitors informed the Local Authority there was another person who had been abused, and we applied for his records, which provided evidence in support of our client’s case. We then obtained a medical report from an expert witness to assess the psychological impact the abuse had on our client.

We presented our findings to the Local Authority and told them of our intention to add him to the group of people who already had their cases before the Court. There was due to be a Trial in late 2018 concerning some of the former pupils who were abused at the school. Just before the Trial, the Local Authority made a time sensitive offer to settle the case for £15,000 compensation.

We advised the client about the offer and they were happy with the figure, but wanted to get further advice from a Barrister regarding the likely value of his claim to be safe. We were able to instruct a Barrister and get his advice before the offer to settle the case expired.

The Barrister was already familiar with the member of staff at the school, having advised in other cases. He concluded the claim was probably worth slightly more if he was 100% successful at Trial.

The Outcome

Given that Trials can be unpredictable and the Court is very unlikely to believe one side’s version of events 100%, our client decided to accept the £15,000 compensation offer. This avoided the stress of going to a Trial, and as he was not a part of the original Trial group it could have taken until 2021 before the matter would go to Court.

As a result, his abuse case was resolved relatively quickly, with the compensation settlement being secured to our client’s satisfaction in just over a year.

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