0370 270 6000

County Council v SM and Others, Court of Appeal

25 September 2001
The issues

Local government – Striking out – Sex abuse

The facts

The claimants alleged that a woman and her son had moved into a flat opposite where the claimant lived. They claimed that the son sexually assaulted the claimants and committed acts of gross indecency on them. They alleged that the injuries that they had suffered had been a consequence of a breach of duty of care or negligence on the part of the defendant County Council. The son had been on bail for two charges of indecent assault and was on the County Council’s at risk register himself.

The defendant County Council tried to strike out and failed before the District Judge who ordered that the claims should be struck out unless the Particulars of Claim were amended. The amendments were made. Appeal was made by the defendant to the Judge who dismissed it. The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal arguing that they accepted that European Authority was against striking out on the grounds that it was not fair just and reasonable to impose a duty of care, that there was no reason why a strike out could not succeed on the basis of foreseeability and proximity.

The claimants were not a member of an exceptional or distinctive category risk but were merely members of the general public.

The decision

The claimant’s allegations made out no arguable case on foreseeability and failed to establish proximity.

Focus on...

Legal updates

Court of Appeal confirms exclusive English jurisdiction clause in excess liability policies in Canadian pipeline dispute

On 10 June 2022 the Court of Appeal upheld an anti-suit injunction granted in favour of insurers by Mr Justice Jacobs in September 2021 restraining proceedings from being brought in Canada and enforcing the exclusive English jurisdiction clause in excess liability policies.

View

Blogs

Payment Fraud landscape shaped by technology in 2021

Payment systems across Europe are under increased pressure to mitigate fraud risks and defend against persistent attacks from enablers using ever more sophisticated and malicious viruses and malware.

View

Legal updates

Gosden and another v Halliwell Landau and another [2021] EWHC 159 (Comm)

This claim addressed the question, of when the date for assessment of damages in cases of negligence should be determined and shows that when appropriate the Courts will depart from the default position.

View

Legal updates

Assessing the scope of employers liability – Chell v Tarmac

These were the opening remarks of Mr Justice Martin Spencer when handing down his Judgment in the recent case of Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC 2613, the latest in a series of appeals dealing with the scope of vicarious liability.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up