NA v Nottinghamshire County Council [12.11.15]

The Claimant suffered abuse at the hands of foster parents. She appealed against a decision that the Defendant local authority was not vicariously liable and that it did not owe a non-delegable duty of care for the abuse. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. It was unanimously rejected that the local authority could be held vicariously liable for foster parents. The relationship was not akin to employment. The existence of a non-delegable duty of care was also rejected. It would be contrary to public policy to hold that a local authority owed a non-delegable duty of care for foster parents. Such a wide duty would effectively impose strict liability. In arranging a foster placement the local authority discharged rather than delegated its duty.