McManus v Babcock Energy Limited (1999)
Frank was Solicitor Advocate in this leading case which significantly increased the amount of damages awarded to the families of asbestos victims. John McManus, who worked as a pipe fitter, died in 1996 from the asbestos related lung cancer Mesothelioma. His widow and sons brought a damages case against Mr McManus’s employer Babcock Energy Limited.
Frank re-examined the legislation and case law by which these cases had previously been determined, and successfully argued that the values of various aspects of the claims needed to be increased. The Court agreed and this case is still used as a benchmark in these claims.
AXA General Insurance & Others for Judicial Review (2011)
Following the House of Lord decision in 2007 to stop the payment of compensation to people with asbestos-related pleural plaques, Frank lobbied hard to persuade the Scottish Parliament to introduce legislation in Scotland to reverse the decision. This happened, but the Insurance Industry is now challenging the Damages (Scotland) (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Act 2009 at the Supreme Court.
Frank was the only Scottish solicitor to insist that his clients should have a voice in defending that challenge and represented them at the Supreme Court hearing.
The case will have huge consequences for the thousands of pleural plaques sufferers and the legal powers of the Scottish Parliament.
Hepatitis C and HIV Infection through NHS Blood Products - Black and Kennedy v the Lord Advocate and Scottish Ministers (2008)
Frank acted for the Haemophilia Society and the families of those who died of Hepatitis C in their legal challenge to the Lord Advocate and Scottish Ministers into their failure to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the deaths under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).
The case Black and Kennedy v the Lord Advocate and Scottish Ministers (2008), was successful before Lord Mackay of Drumadoon who found that the decision not to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the deaths was against Article 2 of the ECHR.
Following that decision and Frank’s appearance before the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Community Care Committee, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Nicola Sturgeon, announced a full Public Inquiry into the cases of haemophiliacs infected with Hepatitis C and HIV through infected NHS blood products – the Penrose Inquiry.
Frank’s actions have set a precedent which also led to the Vale of Leven C.Difficile Inquiry, where Thompsons Solicitors also represent the victims.
Murray’s Executirx v The Greenock Dockyard Company Limited and Cruickshank v Fairfield Rowan
These cases set a pattern for future damages awards to the immediate family of Mesothelioma victims. In Murray’s Executirx v The Greenock Dockyard Company Limited the adult daughter of the deceased Mesothelioma victim received damages of £10,000. In Cruickshank v Fairlfield Rowan, it was the mother of the deceased for whom Frank successfully won damages. Before these cases the level of awards made to these types of relatives was far lower.
Annette Smith and Others v Whipp and Bourne Ltd
This was a Mesothelioma case where the evidence of asbestos exposure was initially light. As the exposure was back in the 1950s and early 60s Whipp and Bourne also deployed an argument that they were unaware of the dangers at the time.
However, using the Firm’s extensive database, Frank managed to prove that grinding machines were in daily use at the factory concerned for asbestos flash panels.
This meant the Asbestos Industry Regulations 1931 applied and these regulations carry strict liability.
Frank relied on English court cases (mainly Banks v Woodhall Duckham 1995 – an unreported decision of the Court of Appeal) to argue that the Scottish case (Watt v Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co.Ltd (1999)) used by the other side was open to question.
The Defenders took the view that they were at risk of losing the action because of the strength of this argument and settled out of court.
C v The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
The case involved a twelve year old girl who was pressured into having sexual intercourse with a twenty year old man.
The girl and her family’s application for compensation from CICA was refused because she was deemed to have consented. On the advise of their loacl MSP Frank was brought into the case to assist the family with an appeal to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Tribunal. The CICA had reached it's decision based upon guidance published under English Law. Frank argued that this guidance was legally flawed and convinced the Appeals Panel, with a full and detailed submission of Scots Common Criminal Law, that a girl as young as C was in all of the circumstances could not be taken to have consented and a full award of compenstion was awarded. This important decision may lead to reforms in how the CICA works and treats cases of sexual intercourse with a minor.
Wilcock v Kestrel Ceilings and Partitions Ltd
This file was closed because no employer’s liability insurance for the company could be traced. However, a search made for another case ten years later revealed that the company did have an insurer.
Using our data systems, devised by Frank, we were able to reopen the case and pursue justice for the victim’s family.