The Court of Appeal has ruled that children and protected parties involved in medical negligence and personal injury claims should not be identified publicly unless anonymity is deemed unnecessary or inappropriate.
Previously if anonymity was wanted for a child in cases of this nature then the claimant would have to apply for it but this was overturned in a recent judgement.
Some of the highest value claims made by individuals feature children or people lacking mental capacity and previously, these cases were heard in an open court, which of course runs the risk of the claimant being harassed as a result.
Moving forward any claimant fitting the description of child or lacking in mental capacity will now be protected by the courts in order to improve their chances of achieving justice for their injury and protect their right and their families’ to privacy.
Scott Rees and Co partner, David Byrne, welcomed the ruling by the Courts, saying: “Anonymity for the children and those who lack mental capacity is something that has long been overdue.”
“When a claim is submitted on behalf of a child there is always a concern when it comes to the public exposure and the ordeal the child maybe forced to go to, to get the compensation they deserve and this ruling will put many parents at ease when it comes to considering a claim on their child’s behalf in the future.”
“Knowing that a defendant has paid out substantial compensation at the conclusion of a case is important and in the public interest, knowing who submitted the claim and where they live after a claim is not.”
“The new legislation will protect children and other vulnerable claimants from any further pressures moving forward from the conclusion of their claims. The whole point of claiming compensation is to rebuild your life to the standard it was, or as close as possible to, before an accident and anonymity is an important part of that.
The court ruled that the public interest may usually be served without need for disclosure of the claimant’s identity and vulnerable claimants will have their anonymity from here on in providing it is necessary and appropriate.