Archive for December, 2013

Court Hears Compensation Claim for Child Hurt on Holiday in Tunisia

Posted on: December 14th, 2013

The High Court in London has heard a compensation claim for a child hurt on holiday in Tunisia, brought by his father after the child was hit in the eye by a dart.

Toby Corps (now eleven years old) was just five years of age when he went on holiday with his family to the Dar Khayam Hotel in Hammamet, Tunisia. Toby was participating in a supervised children´s activity, which involved throwing darts at a dartboard suspended on a tree, when his accident happened in April 2008.

Toby was among a group of twelve children who were throwing darts at the dartboard and, while he was waiting for his turn, the child who had preceded him in the game retrieved his darts from the board and threw one towards Toby – piercing his left eye. Toby sustained a detached retina in the accident and had to undergo an operation to have a cataract removed.

Through his father – Paul Corps – Toby made a compensation claim for a child hurt on holiday against the travel companies through which the holiday was booked – in the claim alleging that the “animation team” had failed to provide any instruction to the children on how to use or retrieve or return the darts properly and safely.

The travel company through whom the holiday booking was made – Future Travel – contested the compensation claim for a child hurt on holiday; arguing that the trip had not been booked as a package deal and therefore the claim was excluded from those that could be made under the Package Travel Regulations.

However, at a hearing in the High Court in London, Mr Justice Bean heard representatives of youtravel.com – the holiday company through whom the hotel accommodation had been supplied – acknowledge that the “animation team” at the hotel had failed in their duty of care towards Toby and admitted their liability for his injuries.

The judge adjourned the case so that an assessment of how Toby´s injury might affect his future education and employment prospects could be made. Court papers indicate that the family have been advised not to accept a settlement of compensation for a child hurt on holiday of less than £50,000.

Government Propose New Scheme for Mesothelioma Compensation Claims

Posted on: December 6th, 2013

The Minister for Work and Pensions – Mike Penning – has announced a Government scheme which will enable workers to make mesothelioma compensation claims when their former employer has gone out of business.

At present, workers who contract mesothelioma cancer due to asbestos exposure can only make mesothelioma compensation claims if their former employer – or the insurance company that provided employer liability insurance at the time – is still trading.

If the employer/insurance company is no longer in existence, claimants have the option of claiming compensation for mesothelioma cancer through an existing Government program, which limits settlements to £20,000 and which can involve a stressful process.

This situation according to Mr Penning is an “injustice” which has left “many tragic victims and their families high and dry”, and now the Government is aiming to pass the Mesothelioma Bill through parliament so that the situation can be addressed in the first half of 2014.

Under the new proposals, it will be necessary to show that a claimant has contracted mesothelioma cancer through the negligence of an employer, and that the employer is no longer trading; however, a database of employer liability insurance policies being set up by the insurance industry will make this process quicker.

Furthermore, mesothelioma compensation claims will now be settled at 75 percent of the average civil claim settlement (currently £115,000) depending on an individual´s personal circumstance – a “major breakthrough for the many victims of this terrible disease” according to Mr Penning.

However, the proposals have been criticised by several cancer support groups, as they only address mesothelioma compensation claims and not other asbestos-related diseases. There has also been disappointment that the “cut-off” date of 25th July 2012 (the earliest that claimants were diagnosed with the disease) will make many long-term sufferers ineligible for compensation under the new scheme.

Note: It is estimated that 2,400 people die annually from mesothelioma cancer and, due to the length of time that the disease takes to manifest, the rate of fatalities due to mesothelioma cancer could increase over the next two decades. If you have any questions about claiming compensation for mesothelioma cancer for yourself or on behalf of a loved one, you should speak with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.