Local authorities owe legal duties to protect children from harm and, when they fail to do so, it is only right that compensation is payable. In one case, a boy who suffered devastating injuries at the hands of his mother’s violent boyfriend won seven-figure damages to pay for the lifetime of care that he will need.
The boy, aged nine, was only a few months old when the boyfriend assaulted him. The severe brain damage he suffered has left him wheelchair dependent and with the mental age of a two-year-old. The boyfriend was subsequently jailed.
After lawyers launched proceedings on the boy’s behalf, the local authority for the area admitted liability for his injuries in full on the basis that it was aware that the boyfriend posed a risk to children but had nevertheless allowed him to come into contact with the child.
Following negotiations, the council agreed to settle the boy’s case by paying a lump sum of £2.75 million, plus annual, index-linked and tax-free sums to cover the costs of his care. Those payments will start at £145,000 a year until the boy reaches the age of 18, before rising to £205,000 a year for the rest of his life. The High Court approved the settlement.