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Letting the dust settle

McGregror v Genco (FC) Ltd shows the importance of assessing standards at the time of the alleged breach of duty in mesothelioma claims, say Simon Morrow and Malcolm Keen

1 July 2014

Notwithstanding that the claimant’s mesothelioma in McGregor was caused by exposure to asbestos during her employment with the defendant in 1976, the defendant was not in breach of duty.

Based on official guidance and standards at the time, the claimant’s exposure to asbestos over several months did not give rise to a foreseeable risk of injury. McGregor shows the importance of assessing levels of knowledge at the time of the alleged breach of duty without the benefit of hindsight. It has significant implications for low exposure mesothelioma claims.

An employer owes a duty of care to his employees at common law. But deciding whether the duty has been breached may be far less obvious. Developments in personal injury and disease law are often...

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