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U.K. appeal court clarifies asbestos position


LONDON, England— The Court of Appeal has clarified the position on employer's liability to claimants who contract asbestos-induced mesothelioma.

In Brett v University of Reading, the case concerned liability to the claimant, who had died from mesothelioma after being exposed to airborne asbestos fibers during the course of his employment at the university.

He was also exposed while working for other employers.

The claim was dismissed because although the court accepted that Mr. Brett had been exposed to airborne asbestos fibers, it did not accept that there had been a breach of duty of care on the part of the university.

Brett seems to run counter to the House of Lord's ruling in Barker vs. Corus in May 2006 that said that the liability of employers was proportional to the period of time they exposed an employee to asbestos, given that it cannot be proved which period of exposure caused the onset of the disease, legal sources said.