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HISTORICAL APPLICATION TO SUPREME COURT – Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

In 2016 the State Labour Government introduced (via the Limitation of Actions (Child Sexual Abuse) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016) amendments to the Limitations of Actions Act 1974 effectively removing statutory limitation period for anyone who was the victim of institutional child sexual abuse and had not brought a claim.

Last week one of our Senior Personal Injury Lawyers, Abe Arends instructed Counsel in an application by a client to set aside a settlement agreement the client had reached with a prominent Brisbane School in 2002. Our client was sexually abused by the then school counsellor of the school, and settled a claim for psychological injury as a result of that abuse. The limitation date had well and truly expired and that was one of the issues our client faced if he continued with the claim and therefore our client settled for a sum which at the time we argued was manifestly inadequate.

For those who have previously settled claims, the Act also gives the courts the power to set aside those agreements if the court wishes to exercise its discretion and consider it “just and reasonable” to do so.

Congratulations to Abe and the team for their commitment to this matter. This is the first of these types of applications in Queensland.

The Judge has reserved his Decision on the matter.