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DN (By his father and litigation friend RN) v Greenwich London Borough [2004] EWCA Civ 1659

Causation - Expert evidence - Local education authorities - Measure of damages - Professional negligence - Psychologists - Special educational needs - Expert evidence of educational psychologist in own defence - Measure of damages for negligence in failing properly to identiy educaitonal needs - Failure to diagnose Asperger’s Syndrome - Autism - Loss of a chance - Psychiatrists - Mental Health Act 1983

7 January 2005

SUMMARY A local education authority was liable for the negligence of an educational psychologist who had failed, among other things, to identify the claimant's complex social and communication needs but, where expert evidence was uncertain on the issue of the outcome for the claimant if he had been placed in an appropriate school, the measure of damages would be small. The appellant local education authority appealed against the judge's decision in favour of the respondent (D) on issues of liability and causation in D's claim that if a school educational psychologist's report in 1990 had not been negligently prepared D would have received an education more suited to his needs. D was born in 1980. At the age of five D was assessed as having special educational needs. At 10 years old the authority's educational psychologist prepared a report on D's educational needs. After considering the report the authority decided that D should be educated at a school for children...

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