Litigation Recent Decisions 2/9/97

Duty owed by a local authority to a child in its care

Barrett v London Borough of Enfield (1997)

Court: CA (Lord Woolf MR, Evans LJ and Schiemann LJ) 25/3/9Appearances: Allan Levy, instructed by Thompson Smith & Puxon, for the appellant. Nigel Baker QC and Brendan Roche, instructed by Browne Jacobson, for the local authority.

Summary: Striking out a claim by a person formerly in care against the local authority on the grounds of negligence at common law while he was in care.

Plaintiff's appeal against order striking out his claim for damages for personal injury sustained while he was a minor in the care of the defendant local authority. The plaintiff was 10 when a care order was made and he remained in care until he was nearly 18. While in care he was moved on nine different occasions between placements. Allegations of any breach of statutory duty in the pleadings had been abandoned and the plaintiff rested his case solely on alleged breaches of the common law duty of care.