Multiple plaintiffs awarded a combined $2,169,232.39 after children were assaulted at childcare centre

Jun 9, 2023 | Publication

The two children attended Footprints Childcare Centre, owned by Little Pigeon Pty Ltd, between 2008 and 2010, where Mr Bird worked and was a 1% shareholder in the company. Both of the child’s Mothers removed them from the centre upon hearing that Mr Bird had been arrested and charged with offences relating to another child at the centre.

Mr Bird, the Father of the owner of Little Pigeon, spent a considerable amount of time at the childcare centre, in which he claims he treated the children as if they were his own grandchildren. At times, Mr Bird was unsupervised and committed inappropriate acts, including acts of a sexual nature, towards the children. It was found that the lack of supervision was inconsistent with the childcare protection policies in place at the centre, and that precautions should have been undertaken to prevent Mr Bird being alone with any child. 

Both the children were awarded damages for their loss and ongoing suffering, as well as the Mothers of both children for the mental harm they have suffered as a consequence of these events – amounting to a combined total of $2,169,232.39. In addition, both Ms Clancy, the owner of Little Pigeon Pty Ltd, and the company itself, was found negligent in its operation of the childcare centre.


  • B and D both attended Footprints childcare centre, owned by Little Birds Pty Ltd, where Mr Bird who worked, and was a 1% shareholder. They were then removed upon Mr Bird being arrested and charged in relation to offences relating to other children who attended the centre.
  • It was found, Mr Bird assaulted both B and D, children of A and C respectively. 
  • Mr Bird found to be an employee and not a not volunteer
  • Little Birds Pty Ltd and Ms clancy (Director and owner) vicarious liable for Mr Bird’s actions as an employee, and further negligent

Negligence (B and D – Children)

  • No issue as to duty of care on B and D
  • Found there was a breach of this duty of care
  • Child protection policy not followed, allowing Mr Bird to be unsupervised with children
  • No issue of causation

Negligence (A and C – Mothers)

  • Found duty was owed
  • And that duty was breached
  • No issues with causation



  • Non-economic loss: $158,000
  • Past out of pocket expenses: $$8,835.39 
  • Future out of pocket expenses: $58,478.46 
  • Past economic loss: $187,482.50
  • Past superannuation: $17,810.84
  • Future economic loss and superannuation: $111,000.
  • Past domestic assistance: $195,042.40
  • Future Domestic Assistance: $265.60 for life
  • Total: $736,649.59 


  • Non-economic loss: $270,000
  • Exemplary damages: $70,000
  • Future out of pocket: $25,000
  • Future economic loss/superannuation: $100,000
  • Total: $465,000


  • Non-economic loss: $96,000
  • Past out of pocket: $6014.10
  • Future out of pocket expenses: $52,828.61
  • Past economic loss: $225,333.50
  • Past superannuation: $21,406.6
  • Future economic losss/Superannuation: $111,000
  • Total: $512,582.81


  • Non-economic loss: $260,000
  • Exemplary damages: $70,000
  • Future out of pocket expenses: $25,000
  • Future economic loss/Superannuation: $100,000
  • Total: $455,000.00

Total Awarded damages: $2,169,232.39

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources. If you do not wish to receive newsletters from us, please let us know.

Latest Insights

New Coercive Control Laws in NSW as of 1 July 2024

From 1 July 2024, coercive control will be a crime in NSW when a person uses abusive behaviours towards a current or former intimate partner with the intention to coerce or control them. The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Coercive Control) Act 2022makes it an...

Key Rules on Discovery Procedures for Prospective Defendants

Rules 5.2 and 5.3 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (UCPR) provide essential guidelines on discovery aimed at identifying or locating prospective defendants. These rules are instrumental in the pre-litigation process, ensuring that applicants can gather...

5 Ways A Director Can Be Sued

Directors can be sued for all sorts of reasons.  Here are 5 of them. Reason #1: Insolvent Trading A director can be sued if the company he or she is a director of trades whilst insolvent.  A director has a duty to prevent the company trading and incurring...

7 Ways to Enforce a Judgment

After a judgment is obtained for an amount of money, there are numerous options open to a judgment creditor in relation to how to enforce the judgment (i.e. how to obtain the money which is owed pursuant to the judgment). Option #1: Issue a Bankruptcy Notice If the...

Who Can Bring a Compensation to Relatives Claim?

In the unfortunate event of a loved one's passing due to negligence or wrongful act, the Compensation to Relatives Act 1897 in New South Wales outlines the parameters for pursuing compensation on behalf of the deceased. Understanding who has the legal standing to...

10 Myths of Being Sued

If you or your business are sued, there are many myths about how the legal process will pan out.  Here are 10 myths about the legal process – all are incorrect. Myth #1: The matter will definitely go to a hearing Most matters settle before a Judge decides...