Wirral care worker loses claim for attack damages

    A residential care worker, who sued Wirral Council after a
    violent 11-year-old boy attacked him, lost his damages claim last
    week.

    Stephen Clarke argued he should have been trained in restraint
    techniques but, after a three-day hearing, the judge ruled that the
    local authority had not been unreasonable in not providing the
    training.

    The boy involved, known as Boy X, kicked Clarke on the side of
    the head, while Clarke and a female social worker tried to restrain
    him.

    Clarke suffered a perforated ear drum and consequent hearing
    loss as a result of the incident.

    Boy X, who had been in care since the age of six, posed a danger
    to staff because of his unpredictable violent outbursts, it was
    agreed, and the staff had asked for restraint training. The council
    argued they had not been negligent.

    Clarke claimed £3,000 damages after the incident at the
    Wimbrick Hey home in Moreton, where the boy had gone for
    assessment, alleging the authority had been in breach of its duty
    of care, which it denied.

    Judge Mark Brown said he believed that if Clarke and his
    colleague had received appropriate restraint training in the months
    immediately prior to the incident, they would have acted
    differently and the risk of injury would have been avoided.

    But the judge ruled: “I do not find on the balance of
    probabilities that the local authority acted unreasonably in their
    decision not to introduce restraint training prior to the
    unfortunate incident in which Mr Clarke was injured.”

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