A landmark judgment from the Court of Appeal has allowed court documents to be released to an asbestos victim support group, despite them not being a party in the case.
Graham Dring from the Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK, initially requested documents used in a trial with Cape Intermediate Holdings Limited in April 2017. He also submitted an injunction to prevent the documents from being destroyed.
Cape refused to hand over the documents, stating that the AVSG Forum had no legitimate interest and was not a party to the initial Court action. The Forum argued that the documents had potential significance to issues in asbestos claims and therefore should be disclosed.
In December 2017, Master McCloud handed down a judgment entitling the AVSG Forum to a copy of all documents in the trial bundle relating to the asbestos claim against Cape. Of course, Cape appealed the decision and it was taken to the Court of Appeal where the scope of the documents allowed to the AVSG Forum was reduced. However, the judgement was upheld, and the AVSG Forum were allowed access to all documents which had been read by the trial judge or which he was invited to read.
Success for asbestos victims
This decision is a major success for both asbestos victims and their specialist asbestos disease solicitors. The AVSG Forum UK now aims to provide the documents, which include statements of fact and expert documents, to interested parties.
Graham Dring from the AVSG Forum said after the appeal hearing; “The Forum and our legal team have been vindicated by this judgment. Cape should now cease their self-serving resistance to disclosure and accept this judgment in full.”
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