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Decision to Refuse Sanction for Counsel in Low Value Personal Injury Case Overturned by Sheriff Appeal Court

The Sheriff Appeal Court has overturned a decision to refuse sanction for the employment of counsel in a low value personal injury case.

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Health and safety study launched

People involved in health and safety at work are being invited to take part in a UK-wide study into the sources of information they use, either in their workplaces or when giving guidance to others.

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New fund for mesothelioma victims must go further

The announcement that the government is to make compensation claims easier for the thousands of people who have mesothelioma - as a result of asbestos exposure at work - but who until now have been unable to claim because their employer no longer exists, has been welcomed by the TUC.

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Study of Medical Negligence Claiming in Scotland

The Scottish Government has recently published its study into the current system for medical negligence claiming in Scotland.The study was commissioned to inform the work of the No-fault Compensation Review Group which was established in 2009 to consider the potential benefits to patients of the introduction of a no-fault compensation scheme for medical negligence claims in Scotland.According to the Executive Summary, findings suggest that patients' grievances, complaints and even claims are not necessarily related to a specific medical event but rather to communication problems, staff attitudes and poor general care. An improved complaints procedure would give complainants a greater sense that they were listened to and that lessons were learnt from their complaint.The settlement of a claim is influenced by a range of factors. This includes the level of experience of the pursuer’s solicitor in medical negligence claiming and the financial value of the claim. Relatively small value claims appear less likely to result in settlement. In those which settle, the cost of dealing with the claim often exceeds the award. The research suggests that small financial claims might be better dealt with through a complaints system which permitted a moderate level of financial payment in some claims.The study explored the potential expenditure implications of a no-fault scheme based on the analysis of data on closed cases. Estimates were calculated based on a range of assumptions about how a no-fault system might operate as well as costs of the current system in recent years. At the lower end estimates for a no-fault compensation scheme would be similar to the cost of existing schemes whilst at the upper end, costs could increase by one half.A no-fault scheme will not necessarily address non-clinical aspects of care. It is therefore important that any new scheme is linked into the wider process by which patients attempt to resolve disputes.Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/06/2348

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Timber repair firm responsible for spread of asbestos fibres

Potentially deadly asbestos fibres were spread in part of a shop by unqualified workmen and left on the premises for three weeks.In a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Cardiff Magistrates heard that the company, which specialises in damp and timber repairs, committed four offences and was fined a total of £18,000 and ordered to pay £5,314 in costs.The company was contracted to carry out the work in an antiques shop in the Vale of Glamorgan. Employees were sent to work on the site to survey and strip out parts of the building affected by damp and wood rot, without checking for the presence of asbestos.None of the workers had received sufficient information, instruction or training in asbestos awareness or removal and the company did not have a license to remove or handle asbestos containing materials.Asbestos insulation boards were removed in a back room by one of the workers and the ceiling was demolished. The uncontrolled removal of the asbestos boards and demolition work caused the disturbance and spread of potentially deadly asbestos fibres.Instead of arranging for the proper disposal of the asbestos, the dust was swept into rubble bags and dumped in a skip lorry, along with the asbestos insulation boards. The asbestos material was immediately identified at the waste transfer site and were collected by the company and left in the backyard of the shop.The owners of the building contacted the HSE and then arranged for a licensed removal company to undertake a full environmental clean of the building.HSE Inspector, Steve Richardson, speaking after the case, said: "This incident was entirely preventable and would not have happened if the company had provided adequate information, instruction and training to its staff."The company had no procedures to check for the presence of asbestos and as a result, has put the health of its workers and the shopowners at risk of potentially fatal asbestos-related lung diseases."

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Welcome to Dallas McMillan's Blog

Welcome to Dallas McMillan's blog.

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