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child abuse cases – are general damages really going up?

5 November 2012

A claimant has recovered £193,543 against her convicted grandfather for serious sexual abuse in the as yet unreported case of GLB v TH ( 31.10.12)

The claimant alleged that sexual abuse took place between the ages of 10 and 16. Although there was a continuing effect the claimant was able to work, and with treatment the prognosis was good. In that context, the award seems high and might alarm defendants and their insurers.

She was awarded £67,500 for Pain Suffering and Loss of Amenity . Even given the extreme breach of trust, the length of time the abuse took place and the nature of the abuse, this is a lot. The JSB guidelines suggest general damages for cases of this nature range from £13,650 to £39,150

The judgment needs taking seriously by industries that might face similar claims, and their insurers, but also with a pinch of salt . After all, the Defendant Grandfather took no part in the litigation and was unrepresented at the assessment of damages hearing.

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