Under Part 3 – The Courts Case Management Powers – Practice Direction (Mesothelioma Claims) is added to this part as a further fourth supplementing Practice Direction.
Routinely, mesothelioma claims brought by asbestos disease victims are allocated to the multi track. The Practice Direction contains a range of special practice and procedure provisions directed at parties and at the court for the handling of such cases. Claims are divided into cases where the claimants are surviving but having a severe limited life expectancy, and other cases including those where the victim is deceased.
A novel “show cause” procedure is introduced under which the defendant may be required at an early stage in the proceedings to identify the evidence and legal arguments that give them “a real prospect of success on any or all issues of liability”. It is stated that the procedure is “without prejudice to the court’s general case management powers in Part 3”. In living mesothelioma claims the court may decide not to require strict adherence to any relevant pre-action protocol, in particular that relating to diseases. The Practice Direction came into effect on 6 April 2008. There are no transitional provisions.