Hi, my name is slochiel! Can anyone recommend any firms that sue local authorities? — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, my name is slochiel! Can anyone recommend any firms that sue local authorities?

slochiel
slochiel Member Posts: 4 Listener
Sadly, my first entry is not a happy one. 

I would like to take a disability discrimination claim against a local authority.  I sustained a brain injury in the 1990s and it is a very misunderstood condition. So it is timely that Chris Bryant, chairman for the all political party re Acute Brain Injury is lobbying for a nationwide neurorehabilitation  programme and for govt depts to work together. I understand there is also new legislation being passed re brain injuries.

The local authority has made my life hell for several years now and in the past 12 months has been instrumental in my meltdown.  It is like water boarding of my mind -torture - since one is far less equipped to cope with stress after a brain injury. I live alone and am quite socially isolated so it is tough.  I am feeling very fragile.

Another govt dept in the mix has not been great either. My potential claim is harassment, failure to make reasonable adjustments, discrimination arising from disability and potentially breach of Article 3 of the Human Rights Act.

I need to obtain legal representation.  I am not working. It seems there are plenty of firms that deal with disability discrimination claims in the work place - employment.  However this claim is re provision of services.

Does anyone know of or can anyone recommend any firms that sue local authorities? I am not talking about personal injury. Remember, I am talking about disability discrimination.
Also, whether such firms do legal aid and/or no win:no fee.

I know it is  a fairly straightforward exercise to complete an N244 form or similar to get the process started.  However, I am overwhelmed (another issues arising from a  brain injury) at putting the submissions together and the schedule of loss etc. I am desperate to get the process started.

Thank you in advance for your help.
Best wishes,
Sally

Comments

  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 4,173 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @slochiel welcome to the community, have you done a Google search to look for solicitors that specialise for your needs? I have a link below it might be of some use or it might not but may be worth a read.

    https://www.councilclaims.co.uk/claims-against-the-council/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw2MWVBhCQARIsAIjbwoOeiDMKftV5ZFwYI48u97CDX0nQhu5KUWr2Yo-GxQ1wlYTHlaRUDNIaArQoEALw_wcB
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member Posts: 12,433 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @slochiel - & welcome to the community. It's possible that EASS (Equality Advisory & Support Service) may be able to advise. Please see: https://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/app/home
    You can search for a solicitor here: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/


  • slochiel
    slochiel Member Posts: 4 Listener
    ok, guys thanks for the steer.  The link re council claims was re personal injuries so not suitable for my needs.

    EASS - yes - I've heard of them and have called several times in the past.  They have a very good website.  However, re legal referrals they do not know what firms deal with disability discrimination claims. 


    Re the Law Society - to find a solicitor, apparently pre pandemic you could ring and they would help on phone but think that service is not available.  So just surfing oneself.  It just tires me out a bit doing that, that'
    s all. 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 2,918 Scope online community team
    Hello @slochiel and welcome to the community, thanks for reaching out, and I'm sorry to hear about the impact your local authority is having on your mental health.

    Are you seeking any support for how fragile your feeling at the moment? You've mentioned you're socially isolated- is there anyone you can speak to about managing your mental health day to day, like your GP?

    Looking at information from Citizens Advice, it's important to think about what outcome you'd like from taking legal action: 
    When deciding what action to take about discrimination, you need to think about what you’re trying to achieve. You will also need to think about how quickly you need to get a result.
    You may want:
    • the discrimination against you to stop
    • an apology
    • the organisation to look again at a decision they’ve already taken
    • a change in the organisation’s policy
    • staff training in discrimination issues
    • money for financial losses or compensation - for example, for stress or injury to feelings.
    It’s often best to try to resolve your problem informally first. It may stop the problem getting worse and avoid the expense of taking legal action. But you should be aware that there are strict time limits for taking legal action. You need to make your claim in court within 6 months of the discrimination taking place. It’s therefore best to act as early as possible.


    As mentioned by chiarieds, you can also contact EASS about alternative dispute resolution, before choosing to take legal action. You can read more information on taking legal action against discrimination from Citizens Advice if you'd find it helpful.

    There are strict time limits for making a court claim. You have to make your discrimination claim in the civil courts within 6 months of the discrimination you’re complaining about. You may also be able to make a claim for judicial review against the public authority.

    Whatever you decide I'd encourage you to seek advice from a professional adviser, through Citizens Advice, or perhaps Advice Local.

    Keep us up to date with how you get on, and let us know if you feel we can help further.

    Alex

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  • Starlingbird
    Starlingbird Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Hi :) I'm wondering if the Local Government Ombudsman might be useful? They are helping me at the moment regarding lack of action by my local Council regarding several issues. 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 2,918 Scope online community team
    That's a great suggestion @Starlingbird thanks for sharing :)

    Just to help @slochiel I'll include a link to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman who look at individual complaints about councils, all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) and some other organisations providing local public services.
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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  • Starlingbird
    Starlingbird Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Thanks Alex_Scope :)

    After being let down by my local Council, I am trying to 1) Get an apology from the Council, 2) Get them to change their policy and 3) Ensure what happened to me does not happen to other people. 

    The LGO have been amazing so far; incredibly thorough, sympathetic and understanding. 

    May I add that one must go through the Council's complaints procedures first, this ensures that the Council were given a chance to put things right. 
  • slochiel
    slochiel Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi everyone, thanks for your feedback and kind words.  I have spoken with the Local Govt and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) a couple of times, re my concerns with council recently, the LGSCO thinks it will be an ICO - information commissioners' office issue. 

    It seems that with the LGSCO, if you meet the standard complaint criteria, maybe there will be some helpful outcome.  

    Re the comment about talking to my GP -  he does not understand my hidden disability and has recently failed me. I  think I need to change my doctor now.

    Does anyone know about schedules of loss and quantum for discrimination arising from disability re the provision of a service?  I am familiar with employment-related discrimination schedules of loss - injury to feelings etc but re the provision of a service - this is outside my comfort zone now. Thanks.
  • stormy
    stormy Member Posts: 9 Listener
    edited June 23
    slochiel said:
    Hi everyone, thanks for your feedback and kind words.  I have spoken with the Local Govt and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) a couple of times, re my concerns with council recently, the LGSCO thinks it will be an ICO - information commissioners' office issue. 

    It seems that with the LGSCO, if you meet the standard complaint criteria, maybe there will be some helpful outcome.  

    Re the comment about talking to my GP -  he does not understand my hidden disability and has recently failed me. I  think I need to change my doctor now.

    Does anyone know about schedules of loss and quantum for discrimination arising from disability re the provision of a service?  I am familiar with employment-related discrimination schedules of loss - injury to feelings etc but re the provision of a service - this is outside my comfort zone now. Thanks.

    Im in the midde of a service discrimination case. It is hard to get the info I agree, its mostly about employment when you google.

    I think all you have to do if shows the money you lost because of discrimination "financial loss" and the ventos band you are using to calculate injury to feelings (you need to lay this out how it made you feel, I think this is going to be the hardest bit of my case as a litigant in person).... but I am pretty much googling and guessing.

    This was the best guide I could find on it: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/quantification-of-claims-guidance.pdf

    Oh and in Scotland you can ask for interest on the amount you are claiming I dunno if thats the same all over- you have to ask for the interest as part of your claim.




  • slochiel
    slochiel Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Super. Thanks for this info from the Commission.  This is a good starting point. :-)
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser Posts: 2,381 Pioneering
    Glad to hear you have found this info to be a good starting point @slochiel. It is the very least you deserve.

    Thanks for your positive feedback. If we can do anything else to support you, please don't hesitate to let us know  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her.

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