Desmond Atkins v Co-operative Group [2016] EWHC 80 (QB)

It was appropriate to replace an order for judgment for the Claimant on his negligence claim with an order for judgment on the issue of breach of duty only, in circumstances where material medical evidence had only come to light following judgment.

The Claimant sought damages for diffuse pleural thickening and asbestosis caused by exposure to asbestos dust during his employment by the Defendant. On the basis of the expert evidence obtained, the Defendant conceded breach of duty and judgment was entered. The Defendant submitted that the interpretation of the radiological evidence by an expert in cardiothoracic radiology, concluding that the Claimant did not have asbestosis, was a material change of circumstances. The Claimant submitted that the Defendant had had plenty of opportunity to obtain this information prior to judgment.

The Court held that the evidence could not have been obtained even with reasonable diligence by the time of judgment. It could not be appropriate to allow the claim to proceed and require the Defendant’s expert to express her opinion on quantum on the false assumption that the Claimant had asbestosis. It was therefore appropriate to order that judgment be entered for the Claimant on breach of duty only.

February 15, 2016 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases