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Barret v. Enfield Borough Council

The Barret v. Enfield Borough Council House of Lords judgment was finally handed down at 3pm today. A claim by a person who had spent most of his childhood in local authority care that, by virtue of the authority’s negligence in failing, inter alia, to place him for adoption, to place him in suitable foster homes and to handle the reintroduction to his mother, he had suffered psychiatric injury in adult life did not give rise to issues which were so obviously non-justiciable as to be struck out without investigation of the facts alleged.. It is reported in full on the House of Lords Web Site – for a full version Click here. The decision is good news particularly for claims against the local authority in respect of foster care placements. It follows the European case of Osman by confirming that there is no blanket immunity from negligence for those who care for children.

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