A learning disabled man who was removed from his care home in 2011 after safeguarding incidents has been denied the chance to claim up to £150,000 in damages.
The High Court ruled that the man’s claim fell outside of the ‘one year’ period in which he had to bring a claim against Tameside council.
He argued that the council breached his rights to liberty and to a private and family life after being removed from his care home in 2011 and subsequently placed in a respite unit until August 2013.
Under the claim, his legal team sought damages of up to £150,000 for unlawful deprivation of liberty while in the respite unit as his placement met the ‘acid test’ set out by the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling in March 2014.
In addition, they argued that there was no authority for that deprivation of liberty as the council had failed to make an application to the Court of Protection, nor did the council make adequate assessment of the man’s capacity to make a decision about his deprivation of liberty or a best interests assessment.
Tameside council argued that the man’s respite unit placement pre-dated that of the March 2014 ruling, therefore it had followed the law as it stood at the time.
It further claimed that the man’s appeal could have been brought forward at the time of the incident, while any damages would be “nominal” as the man had suffered “no loss”.
Ultimately, the Judge ruled that the man and his legal team had several opportunities to bring the claim to court, and a trial of any kind now would put the council at a significant disadvantage, referencing the age of the case.
“Through those representing him he had the opportunity to bring his claim within time or shortly thereafter, and through them to have his position protected if necessary by the issuing of a protective writ,” the Judge said.
“That he did not do so has to be laid squarely at the door of those looking after his interests and no adequate reason in my judgment has been put forward for their failures, sufficient to make it equitable as between the claimant and the defendant public authority to grant him an extension of time to bring his human rights claim against them.”