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Asbestosis landmark ruling has implications for the future

29 July 2016

Following a ruling by The Court of Appeal, it has been claimed that asbestosis sufferers may now be entitled to proportional compensation from employers based on the number of years of service.

Today's ruling concerned the case of a retired electrician who was exposed to asbestos while working for Exeter University.

Most of his asbestos exposure occurred earlier in his career, but lawyers calculated that his university employment contributed 2.3% toward his asbestosis.

This was upheld by The Court of Appeal, which ruled that the electrician was entitled to compensation, despite the university's appeal that his exposure during his time there had made "no discernible difference to his condition".

The decision was described as "very important" by Moore Blatch asbestos disease lawyer John Hedley, representing the electrician, and said it will also "influence other asbestos cases".

"Whilst there is a long established principle around minimal contributions to asbestos exposure by employers, this case helps define what minimal actually means," he said.

"We can confidently say this contribution can be as low as 2.3% or even less."

Total damages of £67,500 were awarded to the electrician, Albert Carder, with the university's contribution set at £1,713.

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