- No duty to institute care proceedings (YXA v Wolverhampton City Council)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
PI & Clinical Negligence analysis: Master Dagnall struck out the claimant’s claim in common law negligence for an alleged delay in issuing care proceedings when he was a child. The judge considered the duties of the defendant local authority under the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) where there was an alleged risk of significant harm if the child remained with his parents. He confirmed that knowledge of a risk of significant harm, and the power to intervene, was not sufficient to amount to an assumption of responsibility so as to create a duty of care. The judge further considered the extent of the local authority’s common law duties when the claimant had been residing in its care by way of parental agreement under ChA 1989, s 20. He held that although there was a duty of care in relation to that accommodation, it did not extend to a duty to commence proceedings or to refuse his return to his parents. Written by David Juckes, barrister at Hailsham Chambers.
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