Thompsons' client abused in foster care awarded £1.75 million

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The case of A v Glasgow City Council [2021] CSOH 102 saw Lord Brailsford award the pursuer £1.75 million in compensation in a ground-breaking foster care abuse claim legal case.

Thompsons solicitors in Scotland represented the pursuer.

The background

The pursuer had been taken into care by Glasgow City Council as a baby of 21 months. He was placed in two children's homes and two foster families. At the age of 12, he was placed in a further foster home where he suffered serious sexual abuse, including rape, and continual threats of physical violence.

At the age of 18, once he had finished his schooling, the pursuer left the home of the abuser.

The consequences

The pursuer immediately moved away from Glasgow but continued to suffer as a result of the years of abuse. He felt shame and experienced flashbacks, nightmares, and disturbing memories. The combined effects of the abuse affected his ability to gain employment and stay in jobs. It also had a significant impact on his personal relationships.

Thompsons' Survivors Team, led by Laura Connor, represented the man in his foster care abuse claim and highlighted to the court the fact that, despite gaining four Highers, he did not go to university. The pursuer told the court he was "a hundred percent sure" he would have gone into Higher Education if the abuse had not occurred. He described not going to university at this stage in his life as his "biggest regret".

Having moved away from the abuser, the pursuer suffered a prolonged period of disorder and turmoil in which he describes himself as "just trying to survive".

The settlement

Expert evidence presented to the court noted that the type of sexual abuse experienced by our client, and the age he was at the time, carried a high risk of causing significant psychological/psychiatric symptoms such as PTSD and a number of other serious mental health problems.

Head of Thompsons' Survivors Team, Laura Connor, argued that the pursuer's employment earnings had been severely affected by the mental health difficulties which occurred as a result of the abuse he had suffered as a child in foster care. We engaged an expert employment consultant and an actuary to calculate the quantifiable effect and submitted our findings to the court. Initially, Judge Lord Brailsford determined the appropriate compensation sum in relation to past wage loss, future wage loss, pension loss, as well as solatium (pain and suffering) and treatment costs to be £1,339,185.00.

Following an appeal claim by the council, which was later dropped, the Judge increased the compensation award to £1.75million which included an award for interest.

It's important to note, that if the pursuer had applied to the Redress Scheme, his award would have been capped at £100,000 and this case shows the importance of survivors seeking expert legal advice from experienced historical abuse claim solicitors.

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