On 1 August 2022, the Civil Liability (Institutional Child Abuse Liability) Amendment Act 2021 commenced in South Australia to improve access to civil redress by survivors of child abuse.
One of the key changes in the recent amendments allows individuals who historically settled their claims for compensation, to apply to the Court, to have those settlement agreements set aside where the Court believes it is just and reasonable to do so. Many claims were historically resolved out of Court for substantially low amounts of money which today would be considered unjust and unreasonable. These changes recognise that in previous cases, due to time limitations or the individual’s vulnerable personal circumstances, many were forced to accept a settlement which would by today’s standards be considered grossly unfair.
Types of damages that may be claimed
The type of damages that may be claimed in institutional abuse cases include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Past economic loss;
- Future economic loss;
- Past and future loss of superannuation;
- Past and future treatment expenses;
- Past gratuitous services;
- Future commercial care services; and
- Loss of consortium (where the partner of the victim suffers loss).
In many cases, the economic loss aspect of the individual’s claim can be quite substantial and over a number of years does add up. In addition, many victims require years of treatment and in some cases, care to assist them. It is, therefore, only just and reasonable that those who settled years ago for an extremely low amount be given the opportunity to right that wrong and have that settlement set aside.
How can we help
Our specialist team of lawyers will advise you on the various pathways to obtain financial compensation or legal redress.
If you or anyone you know needs immediate help
If you or someone you know is in immediate need of support, you can contact:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- ReachOut at au.reachout.com
- Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) on 1800 008 774