Success stories for Adult Abuse Claims

NHS Trust settles sexual assault case by nurse Vijay Bundhun

Our client contacted BBK as she wished to bring a claim for compensation against Kent and Medway NHS Trust for the sexual assault she suffered at the hands of her mental health nurse, Vijay Bundhun, in approximately 2012/2013.

Bundhun was employed by the Trust as a mental health nurse in 2004. Over the 10 years or so that followed, numerous allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour were made against Bundhun to the Trust by both patients and female members of staff. The Trust failed to take any adequate steps in response to these allegations and as a result they failed to protect not only their staff but also their vulnerable patients. In March 2014 the Trust finally suspended Bundhun. He was then convicted in August 2015 of four counts of rape and nine counts of sexual assault against six women and was jailed for life. Had the Trust acted appropriately when the allegations about Bundhun were first raised in 2004, they would have been able to prevent Bundhun from sexually assaulting our client.

Bundhun’s patients were incredibly vulnerable and it was his position as a mental health nurse at the hospital that allowed him to commit these terrible acts of abuse against them. We felt very strongly that the Trust had to be held to account for their terrible failings so that lessons could be learnt for the future. It is well established that sexual abuse and assaults cause deep trauma for those affected, so we sought compensation from the Trust both for the assault our client suffered and also to pay for the treatment she needed to help get her life back on track.

BBK secures compensation for assaults by a nutty Professor

In June 2012, Mr K was viciously attacked by his neighbour, a reputable Professor of Science, for “making too much noise”. The Professor kicked down Mr K’s door and ran into his living room with a large kitchen knife. He screamed obscenities at Mr K, made threats to kill him, and then lunged at him and began slashing at him with the knife. He repeatedly punched Mr K in the face. He then punched Mr K in the chest with such force that he hit the window, causing the window pane to break. Mr K eventually managed to run out of the house and call the police. The Professor was arrested and in September 2012 he was convicted for unlawful wounding and damage to property of a value unknown. He was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment, which was suspended for 18 months.

Mr K suffered physical and psychiatric injuries as a result of the assaults. He suffered lacerations and bruising to his head and leg. He also suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which led to significant psychological distress and impairment of his quality of life for a period of 13 to 14 months following the assaults.

Mr K contacted BBK in July 2013, to pursue a claim for compensation. The first step in this claim was to ascertain if the Professor had sufficient assets to make it worthwhile pursuing him and to this end, we obtained an asset report into his financial position. This revealed that the Professor did not have any sizeable assets but he did receive funding and grants for his research projects and he was a reputable figure in his field and therefore it would be worth pursuing him.

Once the claim process started, the Professor failed to engage despite our numerous efforts to contact him. We therefore issued court proceedings against him. It was at this stage that he finally responded to the claim, but only to plead his innocence and to assert that he had no money and therefore we should abandon the case against him. We, of course, continued with the claim and just weeks before the trial, the Professor agreed to an out of court settlement.

Settlement for patient abused in a psychiatric hospital

Bolt Burdon Kemp secured a settlement on behalf of our client who was sexually abused by a nurse at a psychiatric hospital. Our client was an inpatient at the Woodlands Hospital in 2000. Whilst at the hospital she was sexually assaulted on a number of occasions and was told by her abuser that no one would believe her if she went to the police. It was only some years later that our client was able to come to terms with what had happened. She then showed great courage in coming forward to the police to make a complaint, as a result of which the nurse was convicted of numerous sexual offences.

Our client then instructed Bolt Burdon Kemp to pursue a compensation claim on her behalf. The hospital admitted that they were responsible for the abuse, as it had been committed by one of their nurses, and we recovered in excess of £200,000 for our client.

Settlement of £65,000 for employee sexually abused at work

Bolt Burdon Kemp represented SOL and obtained £65,000 compensation for him. SOL was a support clerk at a firm of solicitors. Whilst working at the firm he was subjected to harassment at the hands of his boss, who was also in a relationship with a Partner of the firm.

We successfully argued:

  • That the firm were responsible for the abuse SOL suffered as they were responsible for the behaviour of his boss; and
  • That the firm were negligent as they were aware that SOL’s boss behaved inappropriately towards our client.

We obtained £92,500 for LAH from her employer. LAH was a support worker employed by an organisation which helps homeless people find housing. LAH was assigned an individual to support. LAH raised concerns with her supervisor about his inappropriate behaviour towards her. It became known during this case that LAH’s employer had received complaints about the individual previously.

Despite this LAH was sent to his home where he sexually assaulted her.

Bolt Burdon Kemp successfully argued that the organisation was;

  • Negligent in ignoring LAH’s concerns;
  • Negligent in ignoring previous concerns raised by other employees;
  • Negligent in failing to follow its own policies in respect of support workers visiting individuals alone; and
  • Negligent in failing to provide proper training.