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Miller Samuel Hill Brown Solicitors Blog

From time to time we will post news articles and announcements relating to the firm and to various legal issues that may be of interest to you.

Government acts on SLC recommendations on prosecution of partnerships

The UK Government has launched a consultation on how to close the legal loophole on the prosecution on partnerships in Scotland and how to reform the law on unincorporated associations.

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Seven survive concrete collapse

Seven construction workers were lucky to survive when more than 250 tonnes of wet concrete collapsed at Liverpool John Moores University, a court has been told.

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Supreme Court rules on mesothelioma liability 'trigger'

The Supreme Court has given its ruling in a dispute between employers and insurance companies over when liability for contracting mesothelioma is triggered.Mesothelioma is a terminal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It has an unusually long gestation period, which can be in excess of 40 years between exposure to asbestos and manifestation of the disease.The insurers had claimed that employer's liability policies should only cover mesothelioma which manifested as a disease at some point during the relevant policy period. Employers, however, claimed that the insurance policies should cover mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos during the relevant policy period but which develops and manifests itself sometime later.The Supreme Court has now dismissed the insurance companies' appeal, and ruled that ruled that the liability 'trigger' for mesothelioma occurs at the point when negligent exposure to asbestos takes place, and not when the disease starts to manifest.Greeting the verdict, Nick Starling, ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, said:“The ABI and our members are committed to paying compensation as quickly as possible to people with mesothelioma who have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace. We have always opposed the attempt to change the basis on which mesothelioma claims should be paid, as argued by those who brought this litigation. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court has confirmed what most in the industry have always understood – that the insurer on cover when the claimant was exposed to asbestos should pay the claim, rather than the insurer on cover when the mesothelioma develops. This case has been pursued by a small group of "run-off" insurers acting independently and at odds with the views of the majority of the UK insurance industry.”

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