ABC v WH and Whillock [23.09.15]

The Claimant claimed damages for personal injuries she alleged were caused by sexual abuse whilst she was a pupil at a special educational needs school. The school accepted vicarious liability if it was established that abuse had occurred. Sir Robert Nelson found that the vice principal of the school, who was also co-author of the school’s child protection policy, had sexually abused the Claimant in the latter part of 2009 and January 2010. Although family conflict had been a real and continuing cause of the Claimant’s mental health problems, the abuse had caused her to suffer an adjustment disorder. A claim for the tort of intentional infliction of harm, following the sending of sexually explicit text messages to the Claimant, was also established. Nelson J awarded damages of £51,370, including damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity of £35,000.