The Department for Communities and Local Government v Blackmore [2017] EWCA Civ 1136

On 27 July 2017, the Court of Appeal gave judgment in The Department for Communities and Local Government v Blackmore [2017] EWCA Civ 1136.

The facts of the case were that Mr Blackmore sustained heavy occupational asbestos exposure between 1966 and 1986. He had smoked cigarettes since he was 14 years old. In 2005 he cut down from smoking around 20 a day to around 12 per day, but he never gave up completely.

He died of lung cancer on 28 October 2010 at the age of 74. The post-mortem indicated a quantity of total retained asbestos fibre count above the level at which the risk of contracting lung cancer doubles.

Causation and primary liability were conceded. The case came before HHJ Cotter QC on the issue of contributory negligence, which was assessed at 30%. This apportionment was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Michael Rawlinson QC has written a paper analysing this case in the context of asbestos lung cancer litigation generally, and giving practical advice to practitioners in this area. You can read it by clicking here.

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