n Journal of South African Law / Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Liability of the state for psychiatric injury of parents caused by death of baby at day-care centre - case report

Volume 2019 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0257-7747


Barley v Moore 2017 3 All SA 799 (WCC); Western Cape Department of Social Development v Barley 2019 3 SA 235 (SCA)

The parents of a 22-week-old daughter entrusted her to a day-care centre. It appeared that the child rolled off a bed on which she was sleeping, was asphyxiated and died. The parents instituted a delictual claim for damages against the owner of the day-care centre (first defendant), as well as the provincial department of social development (second defendant) (see also for a discussion of the decision in the trial court Neethling and Potgieter “Delict” 2017 ASSAL 401-404). The plaintiffs succeeded against both defendants in the trial court. However, the department’s appeal against its liability was upheld by the supreme court of appeal.

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