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H v N [2004] EWCA Civ 526

Civil procedure - Personal injury - Delay - Limitations - Date of knowledge - Sexual abuse - Date of knowledge of serious injury - Limitation Act 1980, s 11 - Limitation Act 1980, s 14 - Limitation Act 1980, s 28

7 May 2004

The appellant (H) appealed against a decision dismissing his claim for damages against the respondent local authority. H had been a resident at a children's home from 1981 to 1983 operated by the local authority where T was the unit manager. H alleged that T had sexually abused him during that period. H attained the age of 18 years in 1984 and the writ in the present case was issued in July 1997. The question whether proceedings had been issued outside the limitation period under the Limitation Act 1980, s 11, s 14 and s 28 was tried as a preliminary issue. Dr M, a psychiatrist instructed on behalf of H, confirmed a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder arising from his experience at the children's home. She confirmed that the condition often presented in delayed form. Dr R, instructed on behalf of the local authority, commented that H's distress had only been present since 1994 which was inconsistent with post traumatic stress disorder. The doctors were not called to give eviden...

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