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Significant judgment for Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum

Historical documents relating to knowledge of the dangers of asbestos preserved

Posted on 11 August 2017

Asbestos lawyer Harminder Bains, who represents Mr Graham Dring on behalf of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum (UK), has welcomed the judgment handed down today by Master McCloud in the Royal Courts of Justice.

The ruling was made in relation to a case brought by Mr Dring, on behalf of the Forum, against Cape Distribution Limited, Cape Intermediate Holdings Limited, Concept70 Limited (and others) and Aviva Plc, in relation to preserving and obtaining documents.

This judgment, together with an earlier injunction in April this year, is of great public importance as its effect is to preserve historical documents for the public which are of particular significance for asbestos disease sufferers.  

The historical documents, which were in danger of being destroyed, have been described by Concept70’s former Counsel as ‘the single most important weapon against TDN13’ (a safety standard).  

It is also alleged that the ‘topics’ of disclosure included what Cape really knew about mesothelioma.  The Forum has applied to be provided with copies of these documents.  

Today’s judgment further stated that the legal costs involved in the application, should it be lost, would not have to be paid by the Forum because of the public importance of the case. Leigh Day is acting on a pro bono basis in this case.

A three day hearing will take place in October 2017 and will be heard by Master McCloud, a specialist asbestos judge, who will decide which documents, currently lodged at the court, can be handed over to the Forum. 

Asbestos lawyer Harminder Bains said:

“I am relieved that these critically important historical documents have not been destroyed.  They are of crucial importance for victims of asbestos related disease and I sincerely hope that the Forum will succeed in obtaining them at the hearing in October 2017.”

Harminder, together with Robert Weir QC and Jonathan Butters of Devereux Chambers, will represent the Forum at the hearing in October.