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High Court rules on 'lost years' compensation in mesothelioma cases  

Asbestos lawyer welcomes High Court ruling for victims of serious illness and injury which could see claims brought by their estates after they have died

Posted on 08 February 2017

Asbestos lawyer Harminder Bains has welcomed the judgment of Judge Walden-Smith in the case of her client Andreou v S Booth Horrocks & Sons Ltd in the High Court.

Mr Andreou was exposed to asbestos in the 1960s when he was apprenticed to a heating and plumbing engineer. His lawyer Harminder Bains, from law firm Leigh Day, obtained the judgment against the employer on behalf of her client who was diagnosed with the fatal lung disease mesothelioma in 2016. The compensation for the pain and suffering was agreed at £90,000. This is the highest award for this element in mesothelioma claims.

The Judge was asked to assess the lost years services claim which the defendant argued should be dismissed, rather than be adjourned until after Mr Andreou's death.

However Mrs Justice Walden-Smith ruled that the assessment of the value of the services claim, which refers to compensation for the amount Mr Andreou would have provided to his wife if he had not contracted mesothelioma, can be adjourned until after his death.

The judge ruled: "It would not be right in my judgment for the claimant or the claimant's estate or his widow in due course not to be able to make a claim for something to which he is entitled simply by reason of it having been brought into these proceedings.  This discrete matter will therefore be adjourned."

Mesothelioma lawyer at Leigh Day, Harminder Bains, said: "I welcome the judge’s decision to adjourn the hearing until after the death of Mr Andreou. This judgment should mean fairer compensation for anyone diagnosed with a life shortening illness, or who has suffered a severe injury, and are faced with the choice of whether to bring claims in their lifetimes, or after their death via their estates.

"In this case my client who is dying from mesothelioma through negligent exposure to asbestos, has already recovered some compensation. This judgment means that his wife will be able to make a further claim after his death for services he would have provided if he had not become ill."

Counsel for the claimant was Patrick Kerr