Animals: being charged by a cow

The claimant was walking his dogs across a field when he was charged by a number of cows.

  • It was alleged:
    There were no warning signs at the entrance to the field.
    Breaches of the Animals Act in not having regard to the fact the cows could demonstrate characteristics not normally found at particular times or in particular circumstances – in this case the cows were in the vicinity of their calves.
    The farmer had failed to comply with HSE hazard guidance on keeping cattle in fields with public access

The case subsequently settled for £275,000.

Asbestosis or CFA?

The main debate here was whether the claimant had died, as claimed, from asbestosis or from another origin, namely Cryptogenic Fibrosing Alveolitis (CFA).

He had died aged 66. In favour of a diagnosis of asbestosis:
• he had occupational exposure of 43 fibres/ml-years as set out by Mr Deary in his engineer’s report
• there was clinical evidence of lung fibrosis

In line with a possible CFA diagnosis, Dr Hind for the defendant noted :
• his condition had deteriorated very rapidly, which was more in keeping with CFA than asbestosis
• the pathologist had noted a very low fibre count.

Our medical expert Dr Williams pointed out that the Industrial injuries Advisory Council had recommended a diagnosis of asbestosis be based on the two related findings above rather than using an absence of asbestos fibres in the lungs to exclude a diagnosis.

The Judge accepted that opinion

That was refused as was leave to appeal this outcome.

Liverpool CC, 11-12 December 2006