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Too little, too late

Jonathan Wheeler discusses limitation and consent in abuse compensation claims following the Court of Appeal decision in JL

21 March 2017

Solicitors representing survivors of abuse in compensation claims have become rather blasé of late over the application of section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980. This may be about to change. A number of test cases arising out of abuse at St William’s, a Catholic-run children’s home in the North East of England, were thrown out by Mr Justice Gosnell in GH v The Catholic Child Welfare Society (Diocese of Middlesbrough) and others just before Christmas, essentially because the defendants were prejudiced by the cases being litigated so late.

The Court of Appeal has now hammered another nail in the same coffin with its judgment last month in JL v Archbishop Bowen and the Scout Association. JL alleged he had been sexually abused by his scout leader and parish priest, Father Laundy. JL looked up to Laundy as a friend and a father figure. The sexual assaults started when Laundy was in his forties and JL was ...

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