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Employers' liability: Asbestos damages - liability and period of self-employment

This report relates to 1 case(s)

  • expand disabled

    Barker v Saint Gobain Pipelines plc [2004] All ER (D) 43 (May) CA (0 other reports)

Key points

In Barker v Saint Gobain Pipelines plc the Court of Appeal holds:

  • The High Court had been correct to decide that the former employer of a man who died of mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos dust during his employment was liable to pay his widow damages, notwithstanding that he was also exposed to the dust on three occasions when he was self-employed.
  • The fact that it was impossible to attribute the onset of the disease to any particular period of exposure was immaterial in light of Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services [2002] IRLR 533. The former employer had contributed to the creation of a risk, and the deceased man's own contribution to the creation of that risk during his self-employment would be reflected in a 20% reduction in damages for contributory negligence.