NA v Nottinghamshire County Council: QBD 2 Dec 2014

The claimant said that as a child the defendant had failed in its duty to protect her from her abusive mother and later from foster parents.
Held: Males J, dealt with the issues of liability and limitation, leaving issues concerning causation and quantum of damages to be dealt with later if necessary. As to limitation, the judge decided that the limitation period should be disapplied pursuant to section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980. In relation to liability, there was no case that the local authority had failed to exercise reasonable care in the selection of the foster parents or in the supervision and monitoring of the placements. The claimant’s case was that the local authority was responsible in law for the tortious conduct of the foster parents, either on the basis of vicarious liability, or on the basis of a non-delegable duty of care. In a carefully reasoned judgment, the judge rejected both arguments.
The claim failed. The relationship between the Local Authority and its foster carers was not akin to an employment relationship.
Males J
[2014] EWHC 4005 (QB), [2015] PTSR 653, [2015] WLR(D) 35
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
CitedCaparo Industries Plc v Dickman and others HL 8-Feb-1990
Limitation of Loss from Negligent Mis-statement
The plaintiffs sought damages from accountants for negligence. They had acquired shares in a target company and, relying upon the published and audited accounts which overstated the company’s earnings, they purchased further shares.
Held: The . .
CitedKLB v British Columbia 2-Oct-2003
Canlii (Supreme Court of Canada) Torts – Liability – Intentional torts – Abuse of children by foster parents – Whether government can be held liable for harm children suffered in foster care – Whether government . .
CitedThe Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others v Various Claimants and The Institute of The Brothers of The Christian Schools and Others SC 21-Nov-2012
Law of vicarious liability is on the move
Former children at the children’s homes had sought damages for sexual and physical abuse. The court heard arguments as to the vicarious liability of the Society for abuse caused by a parish priest visiting the school. The Court of Appeal had found . .
CitedWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromNA v Nottinghamshire County Council CA 12-Nov-2015
Appeal against finding that a local authority was not responsible for the sexual abuse of the appellant whilst with foster carers as a child.
Held: As to whether the duty as non-delegable, such a duty must relate to a function which the local . .
See AlsoArmes v Nottinghamshire County Council QBD 15-Nov-2016
Application to set aside anonymity order granted in earlier proceedings alleging sexual abuse. . .
Appeal fromArmes v Nottinghamshire County Council SC 18-Oct-2017
The claimant had been abused as a child by foster parents with whom she had been placed by the respondent authority. The court was now asked, the Council not having been negligent, were they in any event liable having a non-delegable duty of care . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 March 2021; Ref: scu.539466