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Social care – vicarious liability for everyone?

20 January 2012

LexisNexis Butterworth is reporting on a claim against the Children’s Society that was in court on 16th January. A man in his 60s claims that, as a teenager, he was sexually molested and raped by the son of the warden and the matron at a Children’s Society home. During a police interview in 2008, the son admitted indecently assaulting the claimant and other children at the home.

The claimant argued that the son was sometimes entrusted to look after children at the home. It was argued that despite the fact that he was not an employee of The Children’s Society, the charity is liable for the abuse as it took place while the son was ‘in charge’. If this argument is successful the categories of people for whom defendants such as schools, charities and fostering agencies might be vicariously liable could be enormous.

We will be providing an update as soon as the judgement is available.

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