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Suffering With Fibromyalgia As A Result Of Child Abuse

letterDear Brian

I have Fibromyalgia.  I have been told that I was more likely to get it because I was abused as a child.  That is what happened to me.  I was in a Care Home and the warden sexually assaulted me a number of times.  I know that it happened years ago, but can I do anything about it?  The warden is now old and probably does not have enough money to make him worth suing.

James

 

Dear James

The warden might not be worth suing, but it is possible that even now you may have a claim against the owners of the Care Home.  It needs looking into.  They might have been in breach of their duty of care to you by allowing these circumstances to arise.  Perhaps they should have been more careful when they selected the warden who did this abuse.  Perhaps they should have supervised him better or, if they found out that he was misbehaving, they should have removed him.  The difficulty here is that although the abuse arose out of the warden’s employment with the Care Home, it cannot be said that what he did was in the course of his employment.  He was acting criminally and let us assume for the moment that his employers had no idea that he was going to be doing that.  The law does say, however, that an employer can be held responsible for the acts of his employee, even though the employer is in certain circumstances entirely blameless and the employee was acting outside the scope of his employment.

The school was responsible for the care and welfare of the boys.  It entrusted that responsibility to the warden.  In those circumstances the House of Lords, as it then was (it is now the Supreme Court) held that the employer was liable, so that might well be the same in your case.

Brian

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