Permission to appeal is granted in NA v Nottinghamshire County Council

It has been confirmed that the claimant in the case of NA v Nottinghamshire County Council has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. This follows the Court of Appeal decision of 12 November 2015, when it was held that a local authority which was not negligent when arranging or supervising a placement, could not be held vicariously liable for a foster carer’s abusive behaviour. 

It also decided that it would not be fair, just or reasonable to assign a non-delegable duty of care to the local authority, making it legally responsible for the actions of the foster carers. This was particularly given that the local authority has duty under section 21 of the Child Care Act 1980 to provide a child with “accommodation and maintenance”, and this duty is discharged, not delegated, by the placement. 

Clearly if the Supreme Court overturns the Court of Appeal judgment this could have significant repercussions for local authorities facing civil claims arising from allegations of abuse by foster carers. As yet there is no date for a hearing but Alarm will keep Members updated regarding developments.

Carol Dalton, Partner, Langleys Solicitors