fbpx

Provisional Damages in Asbestos Claims – High Court Breaks Fresh Legal Ground

21st September 2022 By

Those in the early stages of asbestos-related illness often receive an initial award of damages on the basis that they can seek further compensation in the event that their condition deteriorates. In a ruling which broke new legal ground, the High Court has ruled that entitlement to such provisional damages lives on even after victims have died.

The case concerned a man who was exposed to asbestos whilst working for three employers between 1956 and 1977. He developed pleural plaques and asbestosis but was asymptomatic when he launched proceedings. The employers admitted liability and, in 1993, they were ordered to pay him £5,000 in damages.

A provisional damages order (PDO) was also made at the same time, which entitled him to return to court for further compensation if he suffered specified deteriorations in his condition that resulted in him being unable to work. Following his death, his nephew, acting as executor of his estate, applied to enforce the PDO.

In resisting the application, the employers asserted that the man’s original cause of action came to an end with the award of damages in 1993 and that, thereafter, it had no independent vitality. There was thus no cause capable of passing to his estate. In any event, they contended that only he, as the injured person, enjoyed the benefit of the PDO and that an application for further damages could not be made by anyone else.

Ruling on the matter, the Court noted that, had the man been awarded provisional damages but had yet to receive the money when he died, his nephew would have been entitled to enforce payment on behalf of his estate. Had he applied for further compensation but died before the application was heard, his nephew would equally have been entitled to pursue the application as his executor.

The man’s original cause of action remained live for the purposes of enforcement of the PDO and there was no statutory bar on the benefit of the order being transferred to a third party, in this case his nephew in his capacity as executor. The nephew was substituted as claimant in the action so as to enable him to pursue a claim on behalf of the estate for further damages under the PDO.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Challenge to Will's Validity Rejected by High Court

12th April, 2024 By

The best way to ensure your assets will be distributed as you wish is to have your will professionally drafted by a qualified solicitor. In a recent case, a challenge to the validity of an elderly man's will was dismissed by the High Court. The man had previously made a will in 2011, leaving most of his estate equally to his three children. In 2018, by which time one of his sons had predeceased him, he made a further will, leaving the residue of his estate to his other son...

Defiance of Family Court Orders Will Always End Badly

10th April, 2024 By

Custodial sentences very rarely come into play in the family courts. Where there have been repeated breaches of court orders, however, judges may have little choice but to clamp down. This was illustrated in the High Court during committal proceedings that stemmed from a child custody dispute. The background to the case involved contested proceedings between the father and mother of a young child. These concluded with a court order establishing that the child – a daughter – would live with the mother. Three months later the daughter travelled with...

Claim for SDLT Relief on Annex Unsuccessful

8th April, 2024 By

When buying a property consisting of more than one residence, it may be possible to claim multiple dwellings relief (MDR) against Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). However, there are certain conditions that must be met for an MDR claim to succeed, as a recent case illustrates. A property was purchased for £1.8 million. Prior to the purchase, the buyer had agreed with the seller that he would be allowed to carry out works to construct a self-contained annex at the property. The buyer's SDLT return included a claim for MDR...

Divorce – Alleged Bigamy Raised in Financial Remedies Dispute

5th April, 2024 By

The issue of bigamy and its potential impact on a person's ability to seek financial remedies in a divorce came under the legal spotlight recently. A husband made an application to strike out his wife's financial remedies claim on the basis that she had committed bigamy and deceived him into a marriage when she knew she was not free to marry. This deceit, he claimed, was so egregious that, as a matter of public policy, she should be debarred from pursuing any claim for financial remedies against him. The husband based...