Court of Appeal judgement sets benchmark for asbestos related disease sufferers

A landmark Court of Appeal judgement in Carder v The University of Exeter has set a benchmark for compensation because it agreed that the University was, in part, responsible to a small degree for a staff member’s asbestos-related lung disease. A retired electrician who worked at the University has successfully claimed that his lung disease is worse as a result of his exposure to asbestos at the University even though he was a contractor there and not a full time employee.

The University claimed that the electricians exposure to the toxic substance was so minimal that they cannot be responsible for his disease but the Judge in the appeal case agreed with the original judge that whilst the exposure was minimal, it still contributed to the severity of the disease by a ‘small, albeit not measurable’ amount.

The Judge in the appeal case said: ‘The judge was right to hold that Mr Carder was slightly worse off as a result of the 2.3% exposure for which the appellant was responsible.’

The claimant, who will receive overall damages of £67,000, for exposure to asbestos and £1,713 of this will be from the University where he worked from 1980 to 1994 in their boiler rooms.
This decision has made this a landmark case and will influence other asbestos cases.

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