Woman Threatened with Loss of Mesothelioma Compensation

Mesothelioma compensation contested in Court of Appeal


A Derbyshire widow who was threatened with losing her compensation following the death of her husband as a result of mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, has held on to the £100,000 she was awarded in court.

Angela Cox, of Midway, Derbyshire, was told she could lose all her damages when her husband's former employer Rolls Royce Industrial Power (India) Ltd (RRIP) took the case to the Court of Appeal.

RRIP was the "corporate successor" to International Combustion who Derek Cox, Angela's husband, worked for in 1966 and 1967.

However three Law Lords upheld an earlier decision against the employers.

Mr Cox, a welder, was employed by a number of companies in power stations between 1961 and 1985 and was regularly exposed to asbestos. International Combustion was the only employer which remained identifiable.

Mr Cox died from mesothelioma in February 2002.

In February 2007 at Mansfield County Court it was decided that although Mrs Cox could not prove International Combustion "caused" the mesothelioma which Mr Cox died from, it had not taken enough care to prevent him being exposed to deadly asbestos fibres.

Patrick Limb QC, for RRIP, argued that details of Mr Cox's employment with International Combustion were so "sketchy" the case should have been thrown out.

But Lord Justice Kay said that even in the 1960s employers were aware of the dangers posed by asbestos and the risk Mr Cox was exposed to could have been "avoided or minimised" by "reasonable precautions".

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