Should Cases Involving Children be in the Portal?

We are facing arguments from Claimant solicitors that cases involving children do not belong in the portal.

Paragraph 4.3(8) of the EL/PL Pre Action Protocol states:

“4.3 This Protocol does not apply to a claim—

(8) for damages in relation to harm, abuse or neglect of or by children or vulnerable adults;”

It is true that the wording of the section is far from ideal; however, it can not be true that the intention of the clause is to exclude all infant claims from the portal. In fact, the rules explicitly provide for situations involving children, such as the additional Type C Stage 3 payment of £150 for cases involving minors. Rather, it seems that the true intention is to exclude specialist abuse cases from the portal.

For cases involving children, in the absence of an explicit rule or judicial opinion we will continue to argue that it is clearly wrong to assert that all claims involving children are exempt from the portal. In cases where harm is caused by a child, the position is not entirely clear and clarification has been sought from the CPC. In the interim period we would recommend that where harm is caused by a child which does not amount to abuse, representations should be made that the claim should remain in the portal. Where the case involves abuse and/or neglect the claim should not be in the portal. For further advice on the portal or any other related issues, please do not hesitate to contact Forbes Solicitors.

Sarah Wilkinson

About Sarah Wilkinson

Solicitor in the Insurance department
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