For immediate release 20.11.13
In a highly significant legal decision today attempts by a local authority to use a loophole to deny liability in an asbestos case have been defeated at the Court of Session.
David Bavaird from East Kilbride died of the lung disease mesothelioma in 2008 after being exposed to asbestos while working for East Kilbride Development Corporation in the 60’s.
The legal liabilities for the Development Corporation were transferred to South Lanarkshire Council in 1996 but the authority argued that they were not liable as Mr Bavaird had not developed mesothelioma at that stage. Mr Bavaird’s family and their legal team at Thompsons Solicitors successfully fought the council’s stance seeing it as a deeply cynical legal ploy to deny justice to families who have lost loved ones through asbestos diseases.
Speaking after today’s decision Mr Bavaird’s son Derek said “This is a landmark judgement and one in the eye for the council. It’s been a disgrace how they have tried to slip out of their responsibilities. Just because my dad didn’t have mesothelioma in 1996 doesn’t mean the asbestos wasn’t already in his body causing harm. He was an extremely fit man who loved life but within three months of being diagnosed with mesothelioma he was on his death bed. My father suffered a terrible and painful death which devastated our family. This victory today is justice for my dad and in many ways justice for the other men who died before they could bring their cases.”
Laura Blane from Thompsons Solicitors said “This is an extremely important decision from the Court today. It sends out a clear message to public bodies using cynical legal strategies to avoid their liabilities to the victims of asbestos. The legal tactics of South Lanarkshire Council brought further distress to Mr Bavaird’s family who have been devastated by his loss to this awful disease. This case also highlights the terrible danger to people’s health posed by exposure to asbestos which continues to be a huge problem across Scotland”
BBC News Article: South Lanarkshire Council asbestos ruling 'ends uncertainty'
Notes to Editors
For any further information please contact Peter Henderson at Thompsons 07887 687 318