High Court Considers Range of Awards in Mesothelioma Claims
2 April 2012
This case considered the validity of the JSB Guidelines in assessment of mesothelioma claims in the light of Gallagher-v-Vinters and Smith-v-Bolton.
Michael Ditchfield acted for the Department of Energy & Climate Change in defence of a claim brought by a former miner diagnosed with mesothelioma aged 92.
The Claimant sought to argue that, most if not all, awards for this disease should fall within a core range of between £55-85,000. By extension that the JSB Guidelines wrongly included and wrongly previously referred to sums below that level.
He sought further to say that the duration of illness was always likely to be the determinative factor as to where any case lay in the core range.
The Defendant resisted that technical approach to valuation arguing both that no such core range existed and that such an approach would constraint the Court in its dealing with exceptional cases.
The Court disapproved of the entry figure set out within the Guidelines but disagreed that reference to duration of symptoms ought to be seen as the overriding factor in these cases. Assistance in identifying the exceptional cases was given.