09 March 2011
Supreme Court offers ruling on asbestos cases
Compensation awarded following the unrelated deaths of two women as a result of their exposure to asbestos can be kept by their families, the Supreme Court has ruled.
Dianne Willmore passed away after contracting mesothelioma - a disease which affects the inner-cell lining of the lungs - at the age of 46 in 2007 after coming into contact with the substance while she was a pupil at a school in Merseyside.
Meanwhile, Enid Costello died of the same asbestos-related illness in January 2006 aged 74 following her 24-year career working at a steel drum factory and the fact that seven Judges at the Supreme Court permitted the damages awarded to the females' families to be kept could represent something of a landmark for asbestos claims.
This is because the officials decided that employers' plea for such cases to be dealt with in terms of a "doubling the risk" test was not viable and instead opted to keep the present system of "material contribution".
Tracey Graham, asbestos Solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "This case is crucially important for those asbestos sufferers who have only small doses of asbestos exposure in their lives but yet still go on to be diagnosed with Mesothelioma. It is also important for those who have had exposure in schools since it is the first successful case involving a pupil. "
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Posted by Daniel Stevens