Landmark Judgment In Asbestos Case ‘To Provide Vital Support To Families’

Legal Experts Acting For Family Welcome Court Of Session Decision

26.06.2014

Lawyers representing the family of a man who died of mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during his career as an Instrument Mechanic have welcomed a landmark decision which both ensures his loved ones get the justice they deserve and will be important in helping other families gain vital support in the future.

James Gallagher, from Stevenston, Ayrshire, died aged 70 in Crosshouse Hospital from the terminal cancer, which his family claimed was linked to his time working with numerous previous employers throughout Scotland.

Now, a judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh has ruled that the family should receive substantial damages regarding the death of their loved one, in line with a ruling made in another recent case which was not disease-related.

Asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell Scotland, who represent Mr Gallagher’s family, have said the decision is an important step towards further developing the law in this area and ensuring that families are able to gain access to vital support which will help them come to terms with losing loved ones.

This is the first judgment dealing with loss of society in disease cases, in Scotland, where awards made by the court have been at this level and represents a substantial increase on awards previously made for family members in such cases.

The case of Gallagher & Others v S C Cheadle Hume was heard at the Court Of Session after the defenders’ lawyers argued that the family were entitled to damages significantly lower than anticipated.

However, in response, Irwin Mitchell Scotland argued that the case should be considered in line with the recent ruling in the case of McGee, which presiding judge Lord Uist agreed with on several grounds.

James Gallagher’s widow, Margaret Ann Gallagher, 70, from Stevenston, said: “We’re so very relieved that the legal battle in relation to getting justice for my husband’s death has come to an end and want to now look to the future after a difficult four years.

“We hope that our case and the decision in it will prove to be an important one which ensures other families who face the heartache of losing a loved one to an asbestos-related disease can get the justice they deserve.

“While no amount of money will ever bring my husband back, if any good can come from this it will be that others will not face the same issues that we have.”

Our personal injury solicitors in Scotland specialise in a number of serious injury and illness claims, if you or a loved one have been affected call us on 0808 250 7641 for a free initial consultation.

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.