Compensation claims case studies

Emmott Snell have helped many survivors of abuse win compensation claims before tribunals and courts. Below are examples from our case files.

Historic child abuse claims case studies

March 2017: Victim of abuse by a choir master receives an apology and compensation. Mr B, whose family were parishioners, attended regular Sunday services with his parents at a rural Church of England church. As an adolescent he was abused by an organist and choir master. In his forties Mr B felt strong enough to report the abuse to the police. His perpetrator was charged but was declared unfit to stand trial after one appearance at the magistrates’ court. Nonetheless Mr B succeeded in pursuing the relevant Diocese of Church of England and was awarded compensation of a 5 figure sum and, importantly, a formal written apology from the Bishop.

July 2016: Victim of abuse in local authority children’s homes wins case.
We represented Ms X in a claim against a local authority for sexual abuse by a number of male care workers whilst she was in various children’s homes under a care order. Only one of her abusers was convicted but he appealed his sentence and was acquitted. She suffered complex post traumatic stress disorder, an emotionally unstable personality disorder and anorexia nervosa. She was academically capable but underperformed at school due to her abuse, which impacted her earning potential. The local authority denied liability throughout. Following the issue and service of proceedings an out of court settlement of £60,000 was achieved.

February 2016: Victim of Bishop George Bell receives apology and compensation.
We acted for ‘Carol’ who received a formal apology from the current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, for abuse she suffered at the hands of Bishop George Bell (deceased 1958) when she was a young child. She had reported the abuse to the then Bishop of Chichester in 1995 but was advised to seek pastoral support from her local vicar. She was finally ‘heard’ in 2013 when the current Archbishop Justin Welby responded to her correspondence, which ultimately led to the apology and compensation.

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December 2015: Victims of prestigious schools' abuse win compensation.
We acted for former pupils of Westminster Cathedral Choir School and Ampleforth, who were sexually abused by a house master and teacher David Lowe whilst pupils. Lowe was convicted of indecent assault offences against 10 victims at Southwark Crown Court in 2015 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Our clients pursued Westminster Cathedral Choir School and Ampleforth which joined David Lowe into the proceedings. The claims were resolved successfully at a mediation, the settlement sum exceeding £135,000.

States of Jersey Historic Abuse Redress Scheme

We represented a number of victims who suffered sexual or physical abuse in Haut de la Garenne and other children’s homes in Jersey in negotiations with the States of Jersey in setting up a compensation scheme, and negotiating settlements from between £5,000 and £60,000.

November 2013: Sevenoaks School settles abuse case out of court. We represented 'XY' in a civil claim arising from sexual abuse by Gerd Sommerhof, a high profile teacher between 1976 and 1983. XY brought his legal case after years of torment and attempts to 'bury' it. It was the Saville scandal that finally gave him the courage to report it. Although his abuser had died, XY was successful in recovering a significant sum of damages for his assaults and associated losses.

February 2013: "JGE" against Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth. We represented Miss JGE in a claim against the Portsmouth Diocese arising from alleged sexual assaults as a child by Father Baldwin (deceased). The Church claimed that on a technicality it could not be held legally responsible because there was no formal employment relationship with their priest. In November 2011 the High Court found that the Church was responsible for the sexual misbehaviour of Baldwin. This was an historic decision; it is now clear law that a bishop can be held legally responsible for child abuse.

April 2012: Sibling group recover damages from local authority for failing to remove them from their abusive family home. We represented 3 children who remained in chronically neglected and abusive conditions for at least 2 years longer than they should have had social services acted competently. A High Court Master approved proposed out of court settlements made by the relevant local authority totalling more than £50,000.

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Personal injuries case studies

Personal injury claims case studies

March 2017: Mr K receives an award in excess of £7,000 following an accident at work. At the time of his injury Mr K was employed as painter and decorator for a local firm. On the day of his accident Mr K was disposing of building waste into skips in his employer’s yard. As he lifted a roll of cortex a ‘hidden’ brick rolled out and struck him on his head causing him to suffer a detached retina. Fortunately the retinal detachment was successfully repaired by surgery and Mr K made a good recovery.

Mr K contacted Emmott Snell Solicitors who forwarded details of his claim to his employer’s insurer by way of an electronic portal. Following some delay and ‘chasing’ by Emmott Snell Solicitors Mr K’s employers eventually admitted liability. A supportive medical report was obtained and Mr K’s claim was registered at court. Following some negotiation an out of court settlement was reached.

In his client satisfaction questionnaire Mr K commented that “Emmott Snell were very accommodating and reassuring in every move”. In addition he thanked the team for their hard work in bringing his claim to a successful conclusion.

 

December 2016: Mr J receives compensation following an accident at workMr J, a Head Chef, suffered soft tissue injuries to his left shoulder as a result of being struck by a stainless steel panel, which had fallen from a suspended ceiling. Mr J’s employer denied liability. We obtained a supportive medical report and registered Mr J’s claim at court. Following negotiation an out of court settlement was reached.

December 2016: After sustaining a psychological injury, Mr ‘P’ receives in excess of £29,500 compensation from his employers. We obtained compensation for Mr P, who at the time of his accident was a Plant Operative at a local food waste recycling plant. It was alleged Mr P’s employers were liable for his injuries due to unsafe equipment and working practices. Liability was accepted at an early stage leaving us to obtain medical evidence and prepare a schedule of Mr P’s out of pocket expenses. Following negotiations the defendant's solicitors were persuaded to increase on their original offer to damages in excess of £29,000, which Mr P was happy to accept.

 

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Personal injuries case studies

December 2014: At the time of his accident Mr 'W' was employed as a delivery driver with a national company.  On the day of his accident Mr W’s delivery van suffered a mechanical failure. He reported the failure to his employer who told him to continue with his deliveries. Mr W soon ran into difficulties and was required to push the van as a result of which he suffered injury to his lower back. Emmott Snell Solicitors forwarded a letter of claim to the claimant's employers alleging negligence and breach of statutory duty in that they had provided the claimant with a defective van that was not roadworthy. The defendant initially denied liability strenuously.  Following an exchange of correspondence and some time the defendant eventually conceded and Mr W’s claim was settled without the need to go to court in a sum exceeding £2,800.

November 2016: Male passenger in a works van secures in excess of £17,500 damages. Mr G sustained soft tissue injury to his back, ligament damage to his knee, facial and arm lacerations and a dental injury when he was involved in a road traffic accident in July 2015. The driver’s insurance company admitted liability. Medical evidence was obtained and an offer of damages was put forward. The first offer was considered too low and after some negotiation the insurer was persuaded to increase this and settlement was reached. 

 

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