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Dennis Ball v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change [2012] EWHC 145 (QB)


The court commented on the factors for assessing the damages to be awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity for mesothelioma, and on the lower level figure for awards in the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines 10th Edition.

The Court held that the assessment of damages in mesothelioma cases was far more complex than the emphasis in the JSB Guidelines on "duration of symptoms" would suggest. Factors to be taken into account were the extent and effects of the invasive investigations that a claimant had had to undergo and the type of mesothelioma suffered. The level of symptoms were a key factor. If the symptoms, in particular pain, could not be effectively controlled, that was an important consideration. It was relevant that, even if death had been relatively peaceful, he or she would have been fearful since being told of the diagnosis that a painful and distressing end was to follow. The duration of symptoms were a factor, although not determinative of the level of award. The level of award would be affected by domestic circumstances and previous state of heath and level of activity. Looking at the reported awards, it was difficult to understand the basis of lower level figure of £35,000 in the tenth edition of the JSB Guidelines