Court of appeal personal injury at work ruling is confusing

Unusually, a recent Court of Appeal ruling caused both personal injury lawyers and claimants to agree!

The case in question, Durham v BAI, is going to cause confusion and needless expense, both sides warned.

Although the final judgment will not be handed out until later this week, different versions were distributed to journalists last Friday.

A partner from the personal injury solicitor firm Kennedys, who acted on behalf of the defendants, said it was very disappointing that both sides had to wait almost a year after the hearing at the Court of Appeal, only to receive a confusing judgment.

Nearly 2 years ago, the high court decided that victims could launch a personal injury claim against their employers’ liability insurance if they had been exposed to asbestos. However, the Court of Appeal ruling means that some insurers will have to pay personal injury compensation whilst others will not. The deciding factor being the wording of the insurance contract, which could have been drawn up decades ago.

Ian McFall represented one of the claimants and he commented that the ruling left a black hole in the protection that should be provided by employers’ liability insurance. He went on to say that it would be hard to explain the logic behind the ruling to somebody who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness caused by their employer’s negligence.

Both sides have been given leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, and the appeal judges have indicated that this should be done quickly.

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