Mesothelioma – Court of Appeal Adds to Complexity


A decision by the Court of Appeal has added to the confusion regarding liability in mesothelioma (asbestosis) cases. The decision will not only have serious implications for victims of the disease but will also create uncertainty for everyone involved in such cases.
The decision by the Court was that the wording of the insured defendant’s insurance policy will be critical in determining whether or not an insurer is liable for the claim by the mesothelioma victim. 
The nub of the Court of Appeal’s decision is that where the insurance policy states that the liability is insured when the injury is ‘sustained’, the policy under which compensation may be claimed is the one in force when the disease starts to develop. However, where the policy insures the policy holder at the time the disease is ‘contracted’, the policy will cover the insured when exposure to the carcinogenic agent occurs.
An appeal has been announced and it is to be hoped that this will bring greater clarity to this already complex area of litigation.

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