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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Dyslexic man loses damages claim
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Lord Scott said Mr Adams could have sought earlier medical advice
A Devon man who sued his local council for failing to diagnose his dyslexia has failed in his bid for damages.

David Adams, 32, of Newton Abbot said he did not realise he was dyslexic until speaking to a friend.

Mr Adams claimed Bracknell Forest Borough Council had failed to assess his educational difficulties at the schools he attended from 1981 to 1988.

But his action, challenged by the council, was dismissed on Thursday in the House of Lords.

Educational psychologist

Mr Adams said if the council had carried out a proper assessment and diagnosed his dyslexia, the appropriate treatment would have lessened the consequences of his condition.

Mr Adams, who suffers from depression, panic and low self-esteem, claimed the reason he did not seek advice about his illiteracy was because he did not want people to think he was "stupid".

But in November 1999 he told a friend he was depressed.

He was doing a carpentry course and admitted he was having problems coping with the paper work.

Mr Adams went on to tell his friend, who was an educational psychologist, that he had suffered previous problems at school.

It was then his friend told him she thought he was dyslexic.

His claim for damages was challenged by Bracknell Forest Borough Council on the grounds it exceeded the three-year statute of limitation for personal injury.

The Court of Appeal upheld Mr Adams' claim, but on Thursday Law Lords allowed the council's appeal and dismissed Mr Adams' action.

Lord Scott said his own inclination was that a man of Mr Adams' above average intelligence, who knew himself to be illiterate and knew this was at the root of his depression and stress, could reasonably have been expected to seek medical advice years ago.

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