Compensation battle lost in case against CSA

A mother who filed a suit against the Child Support Agency (CSA) due to the "extreme financial hardship" she felt she suffered due to its incompetence has lost her case.

Denise Rowley, a divorced mother from Leeds, had tried to claim that the CSA owed her a duty of care and had been negligent in failing to obtain maintenance payments from her former husband.

In a case backed by Resolution, an association of family law solicitors, Ms Rowley took the CSA to court, claiming that it should be held responsible for the loss of her health, wealth and home.

However, three judges at the court of appeal found that the body did not owe a duty of care, in a move described as a "major blow" by the association.

"The failings of the CSA are legendary and it is astonishing therefore that the government has thus far been silent on its plans to recompense those failed by it," Kim Fellowes of Resolution’s CSA committee commented.

"For the last 14 years, thousands of children have been badly let down by the CSA."

The CSA has recently been replace by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC), which is planned to have more substantial powers to enforce maintenance payments from defaulters.