Phelps v Mayor and Burgesses London Borough of Hillingdon: CA 4 Nov 1998

The plaintiff claimed damages for the negligent failure of an educational psychologist employed by a local authority to identify that the plaintiff was dyslexic.
Held: An educational psychologist has no duty of care to a child, as opposed to her employer, in failing to diagnose dyslexia which was not an injury but a congenital condition: (Evans LJ) ‘dyslexia is not itself an injury and I do not see how failure to ameliorate or mitigate its effects can be an injury.’ No economic loss damages occurred until the psychologist adopted a particular duty to the child.

Stuart-Smith LJ
Times 09-Nov-1998, Gazette 25-Nov-1998, [1998] EWCA Ci84699 1686, [1999] 1 WLR 500, [1998] ELR 38
England and Wales
Appeal fromPhelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council QBD 10-Oct-1997
An educational psychologist has a professional duty of care to a child when asked to assess for that child for dyslexia, even though the report may be for the local authority. . .
DistinguishedX (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL 29-Jun-1995
Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear
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 rise . .
CitedHenderson v Merrett Syndicates Ltd HL 25-Jul-1994
Lloyds Agents Owe Care Duty to Member; no Contract
Managing agents conducted the financial affairs of the Lloyds Names belonging to the syndicates under their charge. It was alleged that they managed these affairs with a lack of due careleading to enormous losses.
Held: The assumption of . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromPhelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council; Anderton v Clwyd County Council; Gower v Bromley London Borough Council; Jarvis v Hampshire County Council HL 28-Jul-2000
The plaintiffs each complained of negligent decisions in his or her education made by the defendant local authorities. In three of them the Court of Appeal had struck out the plaintiff’s claim and in only one had it been allowed to proceed.
CitedAdams v Bracknell Forest Borough Council HL 17-Jun-2004
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Education, Limitation

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.145165