LAMBERT AND ANOTHER V CARDIFF COUNTY COUNCIL EWHC 869 (QB) The claim concerned the placement of a teenage girl by the Defendant with the Claimant foster carers, Mr and Mrs Lambert between 1991 and 1993. He made false allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr Lambert and launched a campaign of harassment against the Claimants which caused them both psychiatric injury. Full report here.
MB v BRITISH COLUMBIA  2 SCR 477 The Claimant was abused by her natural father from an early age. She was taken into care by the Ministry of Social Services at the age of thirteen and placed with foster parents, Mr and Mrs P. Mr P indulged in sexually inappropriate behaviour during this time and sexually assaulted the Claimant near to the end of June 1976.The Claimant took out proceedings against her father (which settled before trial) and also against the government. The trial judge found that although the social workers were negligent in relation to their care of the Claimant, this was not causative of her damage. However the judge also found that the government was vicariously liable for Mr P’s torts and his breach of fiduciary duty to her. There was also a breach of the government’s non delegable duty of care to look after the welfare of foster children. Full report here.
W 1 – 6 V ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL AND ANOTHER  UKHL 17 The Claimants, W1 and W2 were the parents of the Claimants W3 to W6, the children being one boy and three girls. All of the Claimants claimed damages fro personal injury caused by the negligence of the Defendant council and a social worker employed by the council. There were also claims in contract, for misfeasance in public office and negligent mis-statement but nothing turned on these directly in the appeal before the House of Lords.The parents had been approved a specialist adolescent foster carers by the council but they expressly told the council that they were not willing to accept any child who was known or suspected of being a sexual abuser. Full report here.
BROOKS V REGINA, 2000 BCSC 735 (CanLII) The Claimant was a foster child in the home of a married couple, Mr and Mrs P from May 1975 to June 1976. She had already been sexually abused by her natural father and after making complaints, she was taken into care by the provincial Ministry of Social Services and immediately placed with Mr and Mrs P. The Claimant claimed that Mrs P was often drunk and had little involvement with her. She claimed that she was sexually harassed and assaulted by her foster father. Following an incident of rape, she left the foster home and moved back in with her mother. Thereafter she was primarily responsible for looking after her mother and younger brother, although social services were providing some support. Full report here.
W 1 – 6 V ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL AND ANOTHER  EWCA Civ 614 The Claimants, W1 and W2 were the parents of the Claimants W3 to W6, the children being one boy and three girls. All of the Claimants claimed damages for personal injury caused by the negligence of the Defendant council and a social worker employed by the council. The parents had been approved a specialist adolescent foster carers by the council but they expressly told the council that they were not willing to accept any child who was known or suspected of being a sexual abuser. This was because they had young children. The Council gave them oral assurances to that effect. Full report here.
S V W  EWCA Civ 35 The Claimant was born on the 5th November 1965 and was aged at the date of the hearing 29 years of age. She attained her majority on the 5th November 1983. The Defendant was the Claimant’s mother. She alleged that she was subjected to repeated sexual and physical abuse by her father, which came to the notice of her mother. In 1985 the father was convicted of five counts of incest with the Claimant. In March 1992 she instituted proceedings against her father and her mother. Both claims against the father and mother were initially struck out. The judge at first instance found that the correct period of limitation was Section 2 of the Limitation Act 1980, and the time limit expired six years after the Claimant’s 18th birthday. The Claimant abandoned the action against the father, but appealed in relation to her claim against the mother. Her appeal was successful, but the mother appealed to the Court of Appeal. Full report here.
SURTEES V KINGSTON UPON THAMES BOROUGH COUNCIL  2 FLR 559 The Claimant suffered an accident in August 1966, some 23 years before the date of trial, when she was 2 years of age. She had been placed in the foster care of Mr and Mrs H by the First Defendant, a local authority. The skin on the bottom of her left foot had been completely burnt off after immersion. She herself had no memory of what had happened.She brought a claim against the local authority, based on the proposition that she should not have been fostered to the foster parents and that there was negligence on the part of the local authority in failing to supervise or visit the Claimant in her placement. Full report here.
SARGENT V WALSALL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL AND OTHERS Unreported 27th June 1985 Court of Appeal This case concerned a child, who was born in 1972. Her mother left her with her father, who was arrested and imprisoned. She and her brother were taken into care under section 1 of the Children Act 1948 by the First Defendant. They were boarded out by the council with the Second and Third Defendants. There was no allegation before the Court of Appeal that the First Defendant, the local authority was negligent in selecting these foster parents, nor that the council exerted inadequate and improper supervision of them. Whilst the child was with her foster parents, she suffered severe burns to the soles of her feet and was in hospital for some time. The trial judge found that the foster mother had been negligent on the principle of res ipsa loquitur but dismissed any claim against the local authority. Full report here.
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