Minor asbestos exposure can now result in compensation

29 July 2016 | Jamie Harris

The Court of Appeal has ruled that asbestosis sufferers could be entitled to compensation from negligent employers.

After a landmark ruling this week, those suffering from the condition, caused by exposure to asbestos, could be entitled to proportional compensation from as low as 2.3 per cent, based on the number of years worked.

The ruling states that even if the employer has a minimal impact on contracting the condition, compensation could still be owed.

The ruling is connected to retired electrician Albert Carder, who was exposed to asbestos at the University of Exeter, his place of work.

His lawyers calculated that while exposure occurred earlier in his career, the university had contributed 2.3 per cent toward the asbestosis.

The university’s insurers argued that the exposure had made “no discernible difference to his condition”.

The High Court ruling found that the injury and damage was actionable, stating that a case had been proven against the university despite the small contribution.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision.

Mr Carder’s overall damages from his total exposure to asbestos were assessed at £67,500, with the university’s contribution confirmed to be £1,713.

Moore Blatch asbestos disease lawyer John Hedley, who represented Mr Carder in the asbestosis case said: “This case has broader significance and could impact on a large number of other industrial disease and work related illness cases. The Defendant is trying to appeal again following the Court of Appeal’s decision so we would assume that the insurers believe the issue is important enough to invest significant sums in legal costs in trying to win.  

“There is no way of estimating the total number of cases that could be affected, but it is reasonable to assume that it must be substantial.” 

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Minor asbestos exposure can now result in compensation
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