Here are some of Tom’s recent reported cases

Gillies v Arjo Wiggins [2019] SAC (Civ) 034

An amendment to introduce the relatives of a man who had died of lung cancer was not time-barred when it was intimated to the defenders with an e-motion in terms of OCR chapter 15A the day prior to the expiry of the time limit, though not actually lodged until after the expiry date.

McLean v Fairfield Shipbuilding 2019 SLT 476

The relatives of a man who died of mesothelioma were entitled to have their claims under the Damages (Scotland) Act 2011 heard by a jury because section 22(4) of the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 did not preclude them, even if it might have precluded the deceased’s own claim being heard by a jury.  This followed the decision in Mitchell v Advocate General 2015 SLT 92, in which Tom also appeared.

Thacker v North British Steel Group 2018 SLT 799

The employer of a woman, who worked in a steel foundry as a clerk and was exposed to asbestos dust only when she visited the factory floor, was liable both at common law and under section 63 of the Factories Act 1961 because the amount of dust generated at the point of release was substantial and was, in any event, of a quantity which ought to have been recognised as giving rise to a risk of injury.

Docherty v Secretary of State (1) 2015 SLT 858 (2) 2017 SLT 671 (3) 2018 SLT 349 (4) 2019 SC 50

These decisions in this case concern cross border issues.  In the first decision the Court decided that relatives of a man who died of asbestos related disease in England could not claim under the Damages (Scotland) Act 2011 from the second of two employers/defenders which was responsible only for asbestos exposure in England.  English law applied to any claims.  In the second case the court decided that Scots law governed whether or not the relatives could amend their claims against that employer to bring them under English law In the third decision the Lord Ordinary decided that English law should also apply to the claims against the first employer, responsible only for asbestos exposure in Scotland, because the illness and death had occurred in England.  The final decision was that of the Inner House on appeal holding that Scottish exposure to asbestos was subject to Scots and not English law.  The 2011 Act therefore did apply. (read more about the case)

Boyd v Gates (UK) Ltd 2015 SLT 483

If a defender agrees to pay provisional damages under section 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1982, that agreement carries with it an admission of liability.  Accordingly, if the pursuer’s condition deteriorates and satisfies the conditions under which he would be entitled to apply for further damages, the issue of liability no longer arises.  (read more about the case)

Bavaird v Sir Robert McAlpine 2014 SC 322

A local authority was liable for damages for losses arising from the exposure of a man to asbestos while in the employment of a new town development corporation, which had been wound up long before the disease developed, because the legislation winding up the corporation provided for residual, including potential, liabilities to be transferred to the authority.

G-REDL Fatal Accident Inquiry, Aberdeen, January/February 2014

Tom represented the families of the passengers and crew of the Super Puma helicopter which crashed in the North Sea of Peterhead in April 2009 at the 6 week inquiry in Aberdeen.  The inquiry covered complex engineering and regulatory issues, but representing the clients also meant dealing with the emotional impact of the events and the inquiry on the relatives of the men.

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