Lancashire County Council 'failed to protect brothers'
Two teenage brothers who were abused while living in care are to sue Lancashire County Council after a judge ruled they had been mistreated.
Mr Justice Peter Jackson said the council permitted the boys, now aged 16 and 14, to be subjected to "degrading treatment and physical assault".
He also said the council had failed to adequately protect the boys.
The brothers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are now planning to sue for negligence.
The boys were aged just two months and six months when they were taken into care.
They were put up for adoption but no family was found for them so they were passed through a succession of foster parents.
The boys were abused during two of those placements.
The judge said their treatment amounted to being "inhuman or degrading" and was in violation of their human rights.
He said the boys' "only constant relationship had been with each other" throughout their time in care.
He also urged a review into the cases of 12 other children in north-west England who he said were in a similar position to the brothers.
They involve Lancashire, Cumbria, Blackpool, Liverpool, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and St Helens councils.
Helen Denton, executive director for children and young people at Lancashire County Council, said: "I would like to offer our sincere apologies to these two young men for the way their case has been handled. They are both now settled and the court is satisfied with plans for their future support.
"Whilst we cannot put right what has happened in the past, we have since transformed our services and have every confidence a case like this could not be repeated now or in the future."