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Law Bulletin - January 2008

Safe handling of patients in hospitals [Liability]

Guidelines by the Association of Anaesthetists said so, in addition to a midwife and consultant. The defendant argued that was for the benefit of patients, not the safety of staff.

Council’s highway inspection by car was inadequate [Liability]

The claimant had been driving along a narrow country lane at about 25mph. It was covered in snow. His vehicle went into a pothole. His air bag went off and he was injured.

Asbestos “trigger” litigation cases [Thompsons’ cases]

The issue in these cases is which insurer should pay for negligent exposure to asbestos leading to mesothelioma. The insurer for the employer at the time of the negligent exposure has always been held liable to pay.

Stress Cases [Thompsons’ cases]

Here is one unsuccessful stress trial followed by two successful settlements.

Package tour regulations case: water polo in Greece [Thompsons’ cases]

The claimant was on a package deal with Thomas Cook. She was playing water polo with other guests in her hotel pool in Greece.

Manual Handling [Thompsons’ cases]

The claimant worked in Home Care for the council. She was caring for a patient who weighed about 18 stone and was unable to weight bear or speak.

Workplace Regulations [Thompsons’ cases]

The claimant held a banister on the way up some stairs at work. The banister came away from the wall by about an inch. He lost balance and fell down the stairs.

No causative link between an accident and chronic pain [Causation]

The claimant had injured her hip and alleged that she had been caused permanent disability by way of chronic pain. She appealed against a decision of a judge who awarded her damages of only £11,000 for personal injury.

Causation in bladder cancer case [Causation]

In another Court of Appeal decision, the defendant had appealed against a decision that it was liable to compensate the claimant, who had been employed in its dye plant, for his development of carcinoma of the bladder.

Bereavement damages [Causation]

Please note that from 1 January 2008 the amount of bereavement damages has been increased from £10,000 to £11,800. This applies to all causes of action that accrue on or after that date.