The claimant had suffered two accidents at work. He was already suffering degeneration of a disc in his spine. The medical evidence was that the condition would have deteriorated without the accident and would have lead to the protrusion of the disc but that the injury had accelerated the onset by three years.

For three years following the accident he continued to work and received full pay save for the final three months. He then retired. The Judge held that the claimant had carried on working and had only suffered a partial loss of earnings. The claimant said that he was entitled to the full loss of earnings for a three-year period as, but for the acceleration of the injury, he would have been able to continue working in full-time employment.

The Court of Appeal held that the Judge’s interpretation and application of the medical evidence was open to doubt. There was a divergence in the interpretation of the medical evidence and it was unfortunate that the expert was not called upon to clarify his report. It was vital that the evidence was clarified and the case was remitted for consideration.

Chambers -v- Excel Logistics Limited. Court of Appeal, 7 June 2006.

Court makes order on Cape scheme of arrangement

Cape faces a substantial number of claims for damages from exposure to asbestos. The length of time over which the claims could arise, and the defendant’s potential liability in respect of other subsidiaries, means that quantifying the claims was difficult.

Although the company was solvent, those uncertainties had a detrimental impact on the development of the business, so the company argued. They said that impacted on the company’s ability to generate sufficient earnings to meet the claims.

The court decided that it had jurisdiction to sanction a scheme of arrangement.

Information Service Update

On the web

The Expert Witness Directory 2006 as published by Sweet and Maxwell is available online at: The general search facility allows you to search by name or keyword. Or you can build a structured search by selecting a specialist subject, a preferred location etc.

HSE report Evaluation of whole-body vibration exposure in British industry can be downloaded free at

Whole body vibration: HSE has published new guidance on what can be done to control the risks of WBV under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.