Asbestos disease and cost budgeting

News | Thu 1st Jul, 2021

In Smith v. W. Ford & Sons [2021] EWHC 1749, Stephen Glynn, acting for the widow of a mesothelioma victim, successfully resisted the defendant’s attempt to subvert the masters’ usual practice of not cost budgeting in any asbestos disease case.

The defendant argued that the case should be subjected to budgeting and that the RCJ practice of not budgeting asbestos claims was wrong in principle. Master Davison disagreed.  He made the point that the ability of the RCJ to list terminally ill asbestos cases as quickly as they currently are would not be possible if budgeting was applied to all asbestos cases.

Moreover, he said that QB and Chancery masters did not share the defendant’s view that budgeting controlled costs better or more effectively than detailed assessment. However he refused to be drawn further saying this was a “somewhat sensitive issue”.  The defendant has lodged an appeal.

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