South Lanarkshire Council have been held liable over the death of a man, closing a loophole that solicitors believe would have left victims staring into a “black hole” in their bid to win compensation.  David Bavaird from East Kilbride died from mesothelioma in 2008, 12 years after South Lanarkshire Council assumed the liabilities of his ex-employer, the East Kilbride Development Corporation.

The council’s argued in court that it was not liable as he was not ill in 1996.  This argument was rejected at the Court of Session, despite a previous ruling in October last year which found South Lanarkshire Council was not liable.

Laura_BlaneLaura Blane, Thompsons Solicitors, who represented Mr Bavaird’s family in court, said of this landmark judgement:

“The council entities who employed men like Mr Bavaird in the 50s, 60s and 70s are no longer in existence to be sued and if the current local authorities had been found not to be responsible for the liabilities of their predecessors, then there would be no redress available to those exposed to asbestos and suffering the devastating consequences.

“Had the Court of Session not allowed this appeal, then Mr Bavaird’s family, together with many hundreds of other asbestos victims would have been staring into a black hole as far as compensation is concerned.

“The decision has even wider implications however, and extends to all public bodies where parliament has intervened in their structures, such as the recent creation of a single police force and fire service in Scotland.”

Phyllis Craig of Clydeside Action on AsbestosPhyllis Craig MBE, Chair of CAA, welcomed the judgement:

“We wholeheartedly welcome this judgement.  For many decades now CAA has campaigned for justice for the victims of the UK’s devastating asbestos legacy.  Mr Bavaird and his family’s struggle for justice epitomises the struggle that many victims and their loved ones have to endure as those responsible increasingly seek to hide behind legal technicalities in order to avoid paying compensation”.

We would like to congratulate Thompsons Solicitors for their continued campaigning on behalf of victims of the asbestos tragedy.  We would also like to extend our sympathies to the Bavaird family for their loss and recognise the courage they have shown in fighting this case.  This ruling will benefit many who are currently suffering from asbestos related disease and the many thousands of victims in the coming decades.

 

One Response to Court finds South Lanarkshire Council liable for asbestos death in landmark ruling

  1. Ronnie Kelman says:

    So sorry to hear about the death of Mr Bavaird, I lost my father of this awful disease in 1984 .At this time I am fighting with SLC over having asbestos in the loft of our block of flats at Coolgardie Green Westwood EK,they denied it was there as far back as Dec 2011.now after this space in time they have admitted there is asbestos in our loft,informed of this just 2days ago (13/2/14) by the line manager at the asbestos management dept at the SLC they at this time have no date for the removal of this dangerous material leaving the health of residents of the 12 flats in our block.We are all owner occupiers and the SLC is at this time our factor.The council don’t care and how many more people have to die even now that we know the dangers of asbestos in all its types and forms.R.Kelman (16th Febuary 2014)

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