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Barrett v Enfield LBC

[1999] 3 All ER 193

Case summary last updated at 18/01/2020 20:00 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Barrett v Enfield LBC

P claimed for negligence against the PA in whose care he’d been paced and whose mismanagement caused him psychological injuries by failing to provide him with appropriate adoption, mishandling an introduction to his real mother etc. HL said that this case should proceed to trial and should NOT be struck out on account of there being no cause of action. HL: Although X v Bedfordshire it would NOT be fair, just and reasonable (F,J & R) to impose duties of care in respect of decisions about whether to take a child into public care, but it WOULD be F, J and R once the child is in care, and the bar on a child suing its parents for a negligent upbringing does not apply to PAs. 
Lord Slynn: Fears of ‘defensive practices’ caused by such a duty may be exaggerated. Instead the duty may serve to improve the quality of the social services’ work.

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