Two sisters who sued the state of New South Wales for failing to protect them from their abusive stepfather have been awarded almost $1.5 million in damages after an eight-year battle for compensation.
The women, known as TB and DC, were repeatedly raped and indecently assaulted by their stepfather when they were children in the 1970s and 1980s.
The payout marks the end of a long legal battle for the sisters, which began in 2008 when they sued the state and their former community services case worker for negligence in the NSW Supreme Court.
They claimed that despite knowing about the abuse and documenting their complaints, both the Department of Community Services (DOCS) and the officer did not report it to the police. They alleged that had the abuse been reported, they would have been protected from further abuse.
The former case worker, Carolyn Quinn, is now a high-profile child protection consultant and a former member of the NSW Carers Advisory Council.
Last year, the sisters lost their initial claim, with Justice D ruling that while the department had failed in its duty of care to report the abuse, he did not accept that the abuse continued after DOCS was first notified in 1983.
Justice Campbell ruled Ms Quinn did not owe the girls a duty of care and even if she had, she had fulfilled that duty by reporting the abuse to her superiors.
Secret files show DoCS visits to at-risk kids have decreased
- Category: Child Protection NSW media and newspaper articles
- Created: Sunday, 09 January 2011 11:53
- Written by The Sunday Telegraph