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.

Asbestos award for claimant with bad health

The claimant died on Christmas Day 2003 from respiratory failure. He had suffered bad health for years. His overall respiratory disability was 75 per cent, of which 25 per cent was caused by asbestos pleural disease. The evidence was that his death was accelerated by three years.

The evidence of the deceased’s exposure to asbestos was confused but the Judge accepted the evidence and found that liability was made out. In dealing with apportionment of damage, he had to use common sense.

He decided that the source of exposure to asbestos roofs, stripping and cutting was stronger exposure than when there was lagging going on, which he was not involved in. He found that two thirds of the exposure was with an unsued employer and one-third from the defendants, so we could recover one third of the damages from his asbestos exposure.

The claimant’s medical evidence was Dr Rudd. The claimant had been an invalid before the lung disease became apparent. He had a cluster of chronic conditions and was struggling to care for himself in 1999. The Judge decided that a reasonable figure for general damages before apportionment was £24,000. He thought that the claim for care and funeral expenses must be discounted.

Hogan -v- Stephenson Maintenance, 14 November 2007, Leeds County Court