Breach of Client’s Privacy settles for £750 plus costs.

Ben Wall

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr X in respect of a breach of data protection.

A Government Agency had previously sent Mr X correspondence regarding a Summons of Execution to what they had in their records as his home address. This address was where he had previously resided with his father. His father was able to read aspects of the letter due to the poor quality stationery within which it was sent. On discovering the proceedings taken against Mr X, there was a breakdown in their relationship as Mr X’s family had previously been unaware of the personal matters to which it referred. Given the personal nature of the contents, it is understandable that Mr X wished for the issues to be kept private. Mr X immediately reported to the agency that he had previously advised of his change of address and that he had believed their records had been updated to reflect this. He received a letter apologising for the error and an assurance that his address had been updated in the system to avoid any future errors, with the matter being investigated as a matter of urgency.

With Mr X already not satisfied with the Government Agency’s response, they mistakenly sent further correspondence to his father’s address regarding similar personal matters. Again, not opening the letter, his father was able to partially see the contents of the letter leading to a further breach of Mr X’s privacy. Due to our client’s father suffering from health issues including a heart condition, his wider family soon became aware of the personal proceedings as it was feared that proceedings related to his father’s property. This led to further distress for both Mr X’s father and Mr X, continuing to affect Mr X’s relationship with his family.

On receiving instruction from our client, Ben Wall directed a letter of claim alleging a breach of the rules governing data protection. Using wide-ranging and recent Legislation, Ben referred to both the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Specifically citing the access to, processing and publication of confidential information concerning our client, Ben also highlighted the distress, anxiety and reputational damage Mr X had suffered. Given the stress this had caused Mr X and his father’s worsening health condition, Ben’s priority was to resolve the matter as soon as possible to ensure Mr X was not put through further undue stress and his family relationships were not further affected.

With Ben determined to ensure Mr X was suitably compensated, there was extensive communication both with our Client and the Government Agency involved. Court Proceedings were issued against the Government Agency but the case was settled with a day to spare in the sum of £750 plus costs.

Following the successful conclusion of their claim our client commented as follows;
“Ben called me shortly after my web enquiry and discussed the process in great detail to me. Everything was taken care off for me which helped greatly in very stressful circumstances.
Always make sure your data is handled correctly and if not contact Ben!”

If you have had a similiar issue and would like to arrange a free consultation please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com