Albert Victor Cardner v University of Exeter [2016] EWCA Civ 790

An asbestosis sufferer was entitled to damages from a former employer who was responsible for 2.3% of his total exposure to asbestos dust; although that was a very small contribution, it was a material contribution to his condition.

The appellant former employer had conceded that the 2.3% exposure and contribution to asbestosis was material, but argued that as the contribution had made no difference to the respondent’s symptoms and condition, the judge should have held that it did not make him worse off and therefore made no material contribution to the damage suffered.

The Court of Appeal held that the focus was upon whether the medical condition would have made the person worse off. The question of whether he had suffered material damage depended on the particular facts of the case. The Court held that there was a fundamental contradiction in the appellant employer’s case, as it both argued that the attributable asbestos dust made no material contribution to his asbestosis by arguing that it had not and would not make a difference to his symptoms, but also accepted that it was a material contribution to the entire dose of asbestos dust. The severity of the symptoms had been increased to a small, albeit not measurable extent, and the concession that the increase was material was critical. In those circumstances, the judge was right to hold that the respondent was slightly worse off as a result of the 2.3% exposure for which the appellant was responsible.

August 28, 2016 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases