In a recent fatal mesothelioma case, the Judge awarded interest at the full rate on the past and future losses claimed under the Fatal Accidents Act, on the basis that the multiplier has to be taken from the date of death. The defendants were given leave to appeal and it may be that the point will go to the House of Lords. In relevant cases this may give some ammunition to argue for more interest.

Fletcher -v- A Train. Manchester County Court, 2 April 2007.

General damages in asbestos case

In another Manchester case, general damages had to be assessed for a live claimant with a respiratory disability of 30 per cent, who wanted to settle the claim on a full and final basis. The claimant was 75 years old, he had both pleural plaques and asbestosis. There was a one per cent risk of developing diffuse asbestos related pleural thickening, three per cent of developing mesothelioma and 15 per cent of developing lung cancer. The claimant’s life expectancy was a further 11 years and, as a result of his asbestosis, his life expectancy had been reduced by two years. General damages were awarded at £49,950.

Mottershead -v- WHS Limited and Others. Manchester County Court, 27 March 2007.

CICA appeal award for disabling mental illness

A train driver had a steel bar thrown through his cab window. He had been subject to three previous similar incidents but had managed to carry on working. On this occasion the symptoms were long lasting and more severe. He retired from driving trains on the advice of a psychologist and received severance pay. He was offered alternative employment cleaning trains but refused this.

He has been offered £1,000 by the CICA on a review. On appeal the panel accepted the evidence of a psychiatrist that the client had suffered disabling mental illness for two to five years and awarded £8,200. For loss of earnings using their discretion under Paragraph 33 of the scheme they made a payment of £18,000. They took into account that he had a duty to mitigate his loss.