Good news to end a sad week

It is good to be able to report that at the end of this very sad week, the Court of Appeal have reversed a decision I commented on in  a blog post back in July. The case of Haxton v Phillips Electronics was unusual, in that the defendants Philips had negligently exposed Mr Haxton to asbestos while he was employed with them, which ultimately led to his death from mesothelioma. Mrs Haxton also contracted mesothelioma two years after her husband’s death, from being exposed to asbestos whilst washing his overalls. In the High Court, Mrs Haxton’s dependency claim was reduced by £200,000 because quite simply her life expectancy, due to her own mesothelioma had been severely reduced, and therefore the judge found that consequently her dependency should reflect the estimated time of her remaining life. The Court of Appeal have decided unanimously that Mrs Haxton is entitled to the £200,000. As I previously commented, it would be quite perverse that someone in Mrs Haxton’s position would be denied dependency compensation because the party that had killed her husband had also negligently shortened her life.

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