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Case review 18/04/2019
The Court of Appeal has rejected the Royal Opera House’s attempt to overturn an award of damages to a musician who suffered acoustic shock from playing in its orchestra – a decision which could be cataclysmic to the entertainment industry, with concerts and music gigs being treated equivalent to a factory, with little justification for excessive noise due to artistic value.
The focus of Health and Safety Executive prosecutions has historically been on companies that have exposed their employees to safety risks, as opposed to vibration and other health related failings. However, in recent years the HSE has made a concerted effort to make workplaces healthier as well as safer.
The Civil Liability Bill passed the Lords without amendment on 20 November 2018 and will become law as soon as it is granted Royal Assent.
A round up of recent court decisions raising issues relating to disclosure of documents from a non-party, causation in an asthma case, acoustic shock from live music, the scope of an actionable personal injury, low level mesothelioma exposure and limitation in a hearing loss claim dating back 32 years.
The fourth industrial revolution is the emerging use of radical disruptive technologies and is rapidly changing the way we live and work. These technologies offer tremendous opportunities, but the lessons of our not so distant past show that they can also represent potential risks.
Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive show that the death rate from mesothelioma continues to remain at around 2,500 people each year and the figure is not expected to start to reduce until at least 2020. It is predicted that by 2033 the figure will have dropped to 1,900 per year.
The government has agreed to enact an amendment to the Companies Act 2006 that will assist in the recovery of monies from potential co-defendants in mesothelioma claims.
‘Occam’s razor’ is the logic of the 14th century Franciscan Friar, William of Occam. It means that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation is. It is doubtful that William had the defence of low level exposure noise induced hearing loss claims in mind during his studies, but it captures perfectly the difficulties claimants still face when pursuing such claims.
Case review 12/07/2018
Edwards v Hugh James Ford Simey (A Firm) [06.06.2018] - The Court of Appeal confirmed the proper approach to the measure of loss in a claim for “loss of chance” was that the courts could only use the benefit of hindsight in exceptional circumstances.
On 14 June 2018, the Cabinet Secretary, Michael Matheson introduced the Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Bill, with significant implications for anyone dealing with serious injury claims in this jurisdiction.