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'Important' Asbestos Case To Be Heard At Supreme Court

Lawyer Hopes Final Hearing Will Provide Clarity For All Parties



A Supreme Court hearing into the complex Employers Liability Trigger Litigation is to begin on December 5th and is expected to last ten days.

Lawyers involved in the case, which was passed to the Supreme Court after insurer BAI* appealed against a complex judgment handed down at the Court of Appeal last year, are hoping for a quick judgment that will provide clarity for all parties involved in this 'important' case.

Expert lawyer Helen Ashton from Irwin Mitchell is representing one of the lead claimants in the case. She said: "At present this remains a matter for the Court to decide.

"Whilst we are hoping for the judgment to be handed down as swiftly as possible it is more important that, once a decision is reached, it provides clarity once and for all for all parties involved in this very complex case."

She explained that at the Court of Appeal last year three judges were unable to agree on their position regarding an earlier High Court ruling that employers’ insurers on risk at the time of exposure were liable to pay out on claims for mesothelioma caused by exposure to lethal asbestos in the workplace. Instead, they found that in some cases the responsibility lay with the employer’s insurer at the onset of the tumour, which in some cases is 50 or 60 years later. 

* BAI is the former Builders Accident Insurance Company Limited which is in run-off and in scheme of arrangement.


2.10.2006  - Court proceedings issued out of High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division for lead case one, Ruth Melanie Durham.

3-31.6.2008 – Trial at Royal Courts of Justice before Mr Justice Burton

21.11.2008 - Judgment handed down

2.01.2009 - Appeals filed

11 – 23 November 2009- Court of Appeal hearing before Lord Justice Rix, Lady Justice Smith, Lord Justice Stanley Burnton. Judgment reserved.

08.10.2010 – Judgment handed down at Court of Appeal

03.11.2010 – BAI confirm they will appeal the decision handed down at the Court of Appeal

05.11.2011 - Supreme Court hearing to begin