M and Another -v- Newham London Borough Council and Others; X (Minors) -v- Bedfordshire County Council; CA 24 Feb 1994

References: Independent 24-Feb-1994, Times 03-Mar-1994, [1995] 2 AC 633
Coram: Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Evans LJ
A local authority was not liable in damages for breach of a statutory duty in Social Services. The policy which has first claim on the loyalty of the law is that wrongs should be remedied. The court would not go so far as to hold that the education authorities owed the plaintiffs a duty of care, it was equally not willing to say that the claims were ‘unarguable or almost incontestably bad’ and ‘If a plaintiff can show (1) that the adverse consequences of his congenital defect could have been mitigated by early diagnosis of the defect and appropriate treatment or educational provision; (2) that the adverse consequences of his congenital defect were not mitigated because early diagnosis was not made, or appropriate treatment not given or provision not made, with resulting detriment to his level of educational attainment and employability; and (3) that this damage is not too remote, I do not regard the claim for damage to be necessarily bad.’
Sir Thomas Bingham MR (dissenting): ‘It would require very potent considerations of public policy which do not in my view exist here, to override the rule of public policy which has first claim on the loyalty of the law: that wrongs should be remedied.’
This case cites:

  • Appeal from – X (Minors) -v- Bedfordshire County Council QBD (Independent 23-Dec-93, Times 24-Nov-93)
    A local authority has no duty of care in negligence as to the education of children beyond its statutory obligations to children in its care. . .

This case is cited by:

  • Appeal from – X (Minors) -v- Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another -v- Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL (Independent 30-Jun-95, Times 30-Jun-95, [1995] 2 AC 633, Bailii, [1995] UKHL 9, [1995] 2 FLR 276, [1995] 3 All ER 353, [1995] 3 WLR 152, [1995] 3 FCR 337)
    Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case, only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give . .
  • Cited – Adams -v- Bracknell Forest Borough Council HL (House of Lords, [2004] UKHL 29, Bailii, [2005] 1 AC 76, [2004] 3 WLR 89, [2004] 3 All ER 897)
    A attended the defendant’s schools between 1977 and 1988. He had always experienced difficulties with reading and writing and as an adult found those difficulties to be an impediment in his employment. He believed them to be the cause of the . .
  • Cited – Holland -v- Lampen-Wolfe HL (Gazette 17-Aug-00, House of Lords, Times 27-Jul-00, Gazette 03-Aug-00, Bailii, [2000] 1 WLR 1573, [2000] UKHL 40, [2000] 3 All ER 833)
    The US established a base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, and provided educational services through its staff to staff families. The claimant a teacher employed at the base alleged that a report on her was defamatory. The defendant relied on state . .

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