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Absestos legal challenge won by victims’ families

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In the last month two appeals by insurers against compensation for the families of victims who died of mesothelioma, caused by exposure to asbestos, have failed*.

BalancesThe challenges in the Supreme Court related to two cases where one of the points argued was that the exposure to asbestos had been low and in order for liability to be established, that exposure should have at least doubled the risk of malignant mesothelioma – this was rejected by the Court.

David Eade, Head of the Personal Injury team in Doncaster for KH Injury Lawyers, part of Yorkshire Law Firm Keeble Hawson LLP, looks at the impact the Supreme Court judgements have made:

“These two cases, both involving women, featured entirely different exposures to asbestos fibres. It was reported one lady was exposed to asbestos as a child at school when a pupil, in the second case the breathing in of dust was said to have occurred whilst working in a packaging factory as a secretary.”

“The Court of Appeal had ruled that compensation was to be paid in both these cases, this was appealed against, but the Supreme Court has now made a judgement securing that compensation and this ruling could have a real impact on future claims for many victims.”

“Many factors are taken into account in cases like this and each case is as individual as the person they relate to. However the benchmark that exposure to asbestos fibres should at least double the risk of Mesothelioma has been rejected and this alone will affect the chances of success for future claims in no small way.“

*The cases this judgment relates to are: Sienkiewicz v Greif and Willmore v Knowsley – more details can be found at www.bailii.org
 

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