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Law Bulletin - September 2007

Stress and breach of contract claims [Liability]

The Court of Appeal has held that the way an employer investigated a complaint of harassment against an employee did involve a breach of his contract of employment but the breach was not foreseeably likely to cause him psychiatric injury. So he lost his claim for depression.

New asbestos “watershed” date [Liability]

The senior civil Judge at Cardiff County Court has ruled that employers should have eliminated asbestos dust in their factory within eight months at most of the “watershed” Sunday Times articles of 31 October 1965.

Falling off a climbing wall at a sports centre [Liability]

The claimant went with his friends to an activity centre where there was a free climbing wall. He had no great experience of climbing but had been a couple of times before.

Construction cases against occupiers and an employer [Liability]

The claimant was employed by the first defendant. He was sent to a job in a building leased by the second defendant where they were having a meter installed.

Consumer law [Liability]

When a handlebar of the claimant’s mountain bike had a latent defect, which caused it to fracture and the claimant to fall off and suffer serious injury, the importer of the bicycle was strictly liable for the claimant’s injuries under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 Section 3(1).

Passive smoking [Thompsons’ cases]

The claimant was a bar worker in a village social club. She claimed exposure to smoke made her asthma worse. Liability was denied until it was finally admitted in court

Occupiers’ liability case [Thompsons’ cases]

The claimant was applying for a job at a station. To get into the office, you had to go through a door which sits on a small step about four inches above floor level.

Severe brain damage award [Damages]

The claimant suffered a range of physical injuries following a road traffic accident.

Mind that printer [Damages]

New research from the Queensland University of Technology suggests that after testing more than 60 printing machines, almost a third emit potentially dangerous levels of toner into the air.