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Asbestos and Minimal Risk: Is There a Threshold? - Patrick West, St John's Chambers

20/03/18. Veronica Bussey (Widow & Executrix of the Estate of David Edwin Anthony Bussey) v 00654701 Ltd (Formerly Anglia Heating Ltd) [2018] EWCA Civ 243 CA (Civ Div) (Jackson LJ, Underhill LJ, Moylan LJ) 22/02/2018

There are currently around 2,500 deaths from mesothelioma each year in the UK.” (NHS Choices website 2018)

Let that sink in. That means that in this country nearly 7 people a day are dying from the most devastating of all occupational illnesses.

But it is perhaps not at all surprising given that mesothelioma can be caused by the victim ingesting only a single fibre of asbestos.

In the case of Bussey the Court of Appeal has examined whether there is a narrow test for breach of duty following the findings in Williams v University of Birmingham [2011] EWCA Civ 1242 which appeared to establish a need for Claimants to show they were exposed to greater concentrations of asbestos fibres then the “safe” level set out in the TDN13 (March 1970 and January 1971 Technical Data Note 13 (TDN 13), Department of Employment and Productivity).

The test of an employer's liability for common law negligence is well known and based on the judgment in Stokes v Guest, Keen and Nettlefold (Bolts and Nuts) Ltd [1968] 1 WLR 1776, 1783, Swanwick J...

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