Asbestos victim, aged 92, wins landmark ruling

 

Elderly victims of fatal, asbestos-related lung cancer should not be awarded smaller compensation packages simply because they have enjoyed longer lives than younger sufferers, a judge has ruled in a landmark case.

Dennis Ball, a 92-year-old with incurable lung cancer from Nottinghamshire, sued the Government after he contracted mesothelioma from his time working as an employee for the now-defunct British Coal.

He brought his case against the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which argued that he should receive less money for "pain and suffering" because he was already in his nineties. However, Mrs Justice Swift disagreed in a ruling that paves the way for elderly sufferers to receive compensation packages similar to those given to younger victims.

The Government initially argued that Mr Ball was entitled to only £20,000 compensation, significantly below the amount recommended by the Judicial Studies Board, which recommends payments of £50,000 to £85,000. By the time they came to court they had upped their offer to £35,000.

Mrs Justice Swift awarded £50,000 for pain and suffering plus £13,000 extra in care costs and lost income.

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