States ‘deeply regrets’ not removing siblings from ‘damaging environment’
THE States ‘deeply regrets’ failing to remove two siblings from their family home where they suffered systemic sexual and physical abuse, the Health Minister has said.
Speaking after an agreement was reached between the siblings’ counsel and the Health Department, Deputy Richard Renouf said the case had never been about paying for the plaintiffs’ ongoing care costs but about the ‘appropriate level’ of funding.
During a lengthy trial the court heard that the siblings were left in an abusive home for some nine years after it was obvious to authorities that they needed to be removed.
The plaintiffs had initially sued for a total lump sum between them of £238 million, which was later reduced while the case was being heard to £162.1 million.
On Wednesday the Royal Court heard that following closing statements the case had been settled by the plaintiffs and defence counsels for an undisclosed amount.
Each of the siblings – one of whom lives in a secure unit in the UK and the other in a ‘highly supported environment’ – will each receive a lump sum to pay for general damages and their loss of earnings. They will also each receive an annual payment – known as a Periodic Payment Order – to pay for their care costs for the rest of their lives.
Following the hearing, Deputy Renouf said: ‘This is a terrible case of abuse against two siblings whom the States of Jersey deeply regrets failing to remove from a damaging environment.
‘We accepted liability for the damage that this failure to remove them has caused to their health and welfare, and our obligations to ensure that these young people can be properly looked after for the rest of their lives.
‘This case was never about the principle of funding the care of the claimants, but about the appropriate level of funding. The claimants will each receive a one-off payment plus an annual payment to cover their care costs for the rest of their lives.
‘I am pleased that agreement has been reached on a settlement that will fund appropriate lifetime care, and I hope this settlement provides these two young people with the assurance that they will receive all the specialist care they need.’