Barclays Bank not vicariously liable for independently contracted Doctor – Supreme Court decision

The long awaited decision in Barclays Bank’s appeal to the Supreme Court was handed down on 1 April 2020. Barclays Bank was appealing the decisions made in the first instance and in the Court of Appeal which held them vicariously liable for the actions of an independently contracted doctor.

Barclays Bank contracted Dr Gordon Bates to carry out pre-employment medical assessments during the years 1968 and 1984 for prospective employees of the bank. These assessments were carried out unchaperoned in a consulting room in Dr Bates’ home.

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Save the Children UK’s culture – ‘Serious weaknesses’ and ‘serious failings’ identified

The Charity Commission has recently published an awaited report, following a statutory Inquiry commenced in 2018, into Save the Children UK’s response to sexual misconduct complaints against two former senior executives made in 2012 and 2015.

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Scottish judicial awards for childhood abuse

Very few cases of awards of personal injuries damages for abuse have been reported in recent years in Scotland. It is clear this is now changing with the effects of the retrospective abolition of limitation now being seen. What is noteworthy too are substantial damage awards now being made and the significant impact on such awards from judicial interest being added for many years.

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Aston Villa and Leicester City abuse claim settlements

It has been reported that Aston Villa and Leicester City have settled sexual abuse claims concerning five victims of a football scout, Ted Langford, who worked as a part-time football scout in the Midlands in the 1970s and 1980s.

It is understood that the settlements were reached just a matter of weeks before the matters were due to be heard by the High Court.

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Universities, sexual misconduct and confidentiality

Sexual abuse on campus – an update on the UK perspective

We previously mentioned a rise in reported incidents of sexual assaults and misconducts made by students in the UK, here.

The BBC reports that universities are using non-disclosure agreements (‘NDA’) – commonly known as ‘gagging clauses’ – to prevent students from publicising complaints about sexual assault on campus. BBC News asked UK universities how many students had signed NDAs since 2016 and how much, if any, money had been paid out to them.  Almost all the UK universities replied.  45 universities said they had used NDAs and 300 students had signed NDAs.  However these figures are thought to underestimate the true picture, as some universities provided limited information in answer to the BBC’s queries.  In the article two students say they reported sexual assault by fellow students to their university.  They criticise their respective universities for offering insufficient support and using NDAs.  Another student is critical of her college for offering financial settlement and a NDA after she reported safeguarding concerns.

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Cost of caring for children creates significant pressure for local authorities

The cost of providing safe and secure care for children over the last 5 years has far exceeded the budget available.  As Westminster Grants are cut back the costs continue to rise.

It is estimated that there has been an over spend of around £3bn in the budgets of local authorities for children’s safety.  The Local Government Association (LGA) called on the Government to make use of the coming review of children’s social care as an opportunity to look at why the needs for care have increased and take the chance of addressing this problem.

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Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy due to sexual abuse claims

On Tuesday this week the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was forced to file for bankruptcy as it faces legal challenges over thousands of allegations of sexual abuse. It lodged papers in Delaware Court as it attempts to negotiate a compensation plan for abuse victims.

The BSA which has been in existence for 110 years was founded in 1910 and it has kept confidential files since the 1920s listing staff and volunteers accused of sexual abuse, for the purposes of keeping predators away from children.

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