Last month the High Court made a ruling set to increase the level of compensation awarded to elderly sufferers of Mesothelioma. This form of cancer, which commonly affects the lining of the lung, is caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust.
In the landmark ruling, Mrs Justice Smith awarded 92-year-old Dennis Ball £50,000 compensation for pain and suffering caused by developing the asbestos-related cancer. Dennis Ball developed Mesothelioma after extended exposure to asbestos in Sutton Colliery and Moor Green Colliery, where he had worked for over 20 years for the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation.
This judgement appears to support the principle of equality for the elderly in compensation settlements. Previously, the tendency has been for less compensation to be payable to elderly claimants than younger claimants with comparable claims, due to their lesser life expectancy.
In her judgement, Mrs Justice Smith addressed the issue of life expectancy by making it clear that appropriate compensation should be awarded to a person of any age who has had to suffer the painful effects of being exposed to asbestos and the distress of learning that their life will be cut short.
The judge departed from the £35,000 figure recommended by the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) guidelines for cases of this type and, in doing so, set a much needed legal precedent in a field where cases are usually settled out of court.
If you or anyone you know has suffered from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, our expert solicitors offer free initial advice on pursuing a mesothelioma compensation claim. To discuss your options, including the possibility of pursuing a no win no fee claim, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or on 0125 460 6090.