Settlement – abuse of process –
Court, Queen’s Bench Division
Edis QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge)
court allowed the claimant to bring his claim for mesothelioma against his past
employers despite previously settling a claim for asbestos related disease
against different employers.
claimant had brought proceedings against seven of his past employers in
relation asbestosis and pleural plaques which settled in 2003 for a lump sum of
£26,000. Although there was a recognised risk the claimant would develop
mesothelioma a claim for provisional damages was not pursued. This first set of proceedings did not include
the defendants in the current action as the claimant’s solicitors had been unable
to identify the insurers of second and third defendants and had not identified
the correct name and identity of the first defendant.
to the settlement in 2003, the claimant developed mesothelioma. His solicitors
identified that the current defendants had not been included in the first
proceedings and were now able to identify these defendants’ identity and
defendants argued that: (1) it was an abuse of process for the claimant to
proceed against them when he had already settled a claim in full and final
settlement of his asbestos related condition, (2) the first settlement
satisfied and extinguished all of the claimant’s causes of action, and (3)
limitation applied and the court’s discretion should not be exercised as the
defendants now faced financial hardship in paying damages above the amount they
would have paid had they been named in the first proceedings.
Article continues below...