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Barber v Somerset County Council update

25 June 2003
The facts

Insurers will recall this claim, which was one of the tranche of 4 stress cases, heard by the Court of Appeal, and which is now before the House of Lords.

The parties have had some difficulty in agreeing what issues are to be heard by the House of Lords. Submissions were called upon by their Lordships from both Appellant and Respondent. Insurers had wished to argue the questions of contributory negligence (the Claimant being responsible for his own condition, largely because he failed to notify his employer of that condition) and the question of deductibility of ill-health pension – Parry -v- Cleaver. The House of Lords have refused to hear either issue.

The Claimant had wished to argue that the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations ought to give rise to a civil cause of action, most notably with regard to the question of risk assessment. Insurers may be relieved to hear that the House of Lords have indicated that they have no interest in that argument either.

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