A couple from Oldham, whose baby was taken into care after a medical misdiagnosis, have won £8,000 compensation at the European Court of Human Rights for having their rights infringed.
The couple’s three-month old daughter was taken to hospital in 1998 with a broken leg, and placed in the care of her aunt after doctors decided the injury was not accidental. She was later diagnosed with brittle bone disease, following a second injury, and returned home after nine months.
The parents brought a case through the UK courts to the House of Lords, arguing they should be entitled to compensation for suffering caused to them by the wrongful separation, but the courts ruled against them.
Following a hearing at the European Court, the couple have now been awarded £8,000 plus costs for not having any effective legal remedy in the UK to address the wrongful separation.
Emma Holt, the couple’s solicitor, said of the couple’s fight: “This was not about compensation but about principles. They feel strongly for other people wrongly accused before the advent of the Human Rights Act, who have not been able to access justice.”
A further claim under the right to respect for private and family life was rejected by the Court, which found the domestic authorities had acted appropriately at the time of the injury in the light of information available at the time.