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Class Actions in Europe: “Collective re-dress: all talk and now trousers”

Posted in Class Actions, EU Developments, Litigation Industry

Some years back, a few people (including me, in 2010) bucked conventional wisdom and predicted the rise of class actions in Europe. See, for example, my 2010 post at In fact, class actions continue to expand in Europe. For a timely and useful article providing news on the latest possible expansion, see “Collective re-dress:… Continue Reading

Comparison of EU and US Product Liability Law

Posted in Comparative Law, EU Developments, Mass Tort Issues

A slightly dated (2015) but now free article comparing US and EU law on product liability is described in a January 29, 2017 post at the TortsProfBlog. The introduction explains: “Lauren Sterrett has posted to SSRN Products Liability:  Advancements in European Union Product Liability Law and a Comparison between the EU and U.S. Regime.  The… Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court Declines Human Rights Challenge to Conditional Fees and ATE

Posted in Comparative Law, EU Developments

The UK Supreme Court last week ruled against a party challenging an obligation to pay fees under ATE agreements and conditional fee agreements. The challenger invoked Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case is Coventry and others (Respondents) v Lawrence and another (Appellants) [2015] UKSC 50.  The UK Supreme Court’s July 22,… Continue Reading

Update on UK Plan to Trace More EL Insurance and Pay a Small Amount to Persons with Meosthelioma

Posted in EU Developments

An update on part of the asbestos compensation dynamic in Great Britain. In the UK, most compensation claims are asserted against employers, as opposed to asserting product liability claims. This past July, the FSA published a consultation paper on requiring all insurers to join in tracing historic Employer’s Liability (EL) policies so that compensation can… Continue Reading

EU Intends to Step Up Consumer Protection, Including Small Claims Processing Through Its E-Justice Portal

Posted in EU Developments

LAW360 (subscription required) includes an informative post about EU efforts to step up consumer protection efforts. The plans are laid out in  EU memo which is here.  A key excerpt is as follows – note especially the plans to use the EU’s  "e-Justice portal" to create online small claims processing. That possibility should scare companies that… Continue Reading

New Standing Decision in EU for Challenges to Regulatory Decisions on Product Ingredients

Posted in EU Developments

The EU follows the precautionary approach when regulating use of actually or potentially "toxic" substances used in products. Therefore, manufacturers, consumers and others have an interest in regulatory decisions. But, EU law apparently has been unclear on standing to challenge regulations, until a recent decision in a case known as Microban. The decision is explained… Continue Reading

UK Legal Reform is In Effect – Lawyer Monopoly Ends and Economic Marginalization Takes Another Step

Posted in EU Developments

UK  "legal reform" is now in effect. Many lawyers lacking specialty niches will now experience the commoditization already experienced by many doctors lacking specialties. The BBC has the story here.  And, Nathan Koppel of the WSJ blog  covered it with a apt song quote and an apt picture for so-called "Tesco Law." . The legal reform… Continue Reading

Maltese Court Rejects EU Constitutional Remedies Against Government Defendants for the Family of a Mesothelioma Victim

Posted in EU Developments

This popular press article provides a fair amount of detail on a ruling in Malta related to the mesothelioma death of a dockworker. The claims at issue were submitted by surviving family members. The gist of the ruling seems to be that constitutional remedies were not available because other remedies could be pursued.  Set out below are… Continue Reading

Spanish Trial Court Enters Judgment for Plaintiffs in a Lawsuit Regarding “Neighborhood Exposure” to Asbestos from a Factory

Posted in EU Developments

Spain. As readers may recall, its Supreme Court last year approved the use of contingent fees, as described in this prior post.  More recently, asbestos litigation  took a new turn in Spain through last week’s judgment  in favor of persons living in relatively close proximity to an asbestos-cement factory that used and spewed out asbestos fibers.… Continue Reading

London Rejects Pleural Plaques Claiming

Posted in Asbestos, EU Developments

As it happens, I’m speaking this week  at an asbestos litigation conference. Yesterday’s topic was asbestos bankruptcies and today’s topic is international asbestos litigation.  It is therefore ironic that yesterday  the goverment in London publicly confirmed in a press release from the MOJ that the government will not reinstate pleural plaques claiming. More analysis will have to be… Continue Reading

Trial Proceeding Ahead, Slowly, for Former Eternit Officials

Posted in Eternit, EU Developments

Please look to the left under the heading “Eternit” for prior articles on the combined civil and criminal trial in Italy  involving former executives of Eternit. The charges – more or less – are reckless endangerment  of employees via unsafe conditions in facilities manufacturing asbestos-containing products. The coverage this month has been light as only one hearing… Continue Reading

Plaques Discussion Ahead in the House of Commons

Posted in EU Developments, Pleural Plaques

Back to Europe for the day. The House of Commons is anticipating discussions on pleural plaques vis a vis the apparent path of Scotland affirmatively acting to permit plaques claiming via legislation, but England and Wales not allowing compensation and other European countries taking divergent various views.  The following remarks are from January 28, and are courtesy of They Work for You. … Continue Reading

UK Asbestos Working Party More Than Doubles Estimate to 11 Billion Euros

Posted in Asbestos, EU Developments, Global Tort Litigation, Litigation Industry

A summary article from Insurance Business Review is online here, and is pasted below. ____________________________________________________________________________ UK Asbestos-Related Claims To Be Around £11bn For 2009 To 2050 Published:26-January-2010 By Staff Reporter Total undiscounted cost of UK asbestos-related claims to the insurance market is expected to be around £11bn for the period 2009 to 2050, according to a… Continue Reading

Published Reports – UK Government Seeking a Deal With Unions on Pleural Plaques

Posted in EU Developments, Insurance Coverage for Tort Claims, Insurance Insolvencies, Pleural Plaques

This article from a British newspaper reports that the UK government is trying to cut a deal with unions 1) to pay for more scientific research on cancer, and 2) require more compensation from insurers for asbestos victims, but without reinstating pleural plaques claiming. Apparently remaining insurers would be required to pay bills left behind by… Continue Reading

Scottish Trial Court Upholds Legislation Reinstating Pleural Plaques Claiming for Scotland (Statute Also Applies to Asbestosis and Pleural Thickening)

Posted in EU Developments, Pleural Plaques, Policy Issues, Propensity to Claim

A hat tip to Business Insurance for an email alert on Friday advising that a Scottish trial court had just issued an opinion rejecting insurer challenges to Scottish legislation reinstating claiming for pleural plaques. The article is here; it mainly says the insurers are not happy and may appeal. The opinion is online here at… Continue Reading

Global Asbestos Claiming – Report on Asbestos Litigation in Nine Nations – Munich Re’s Major Compilation of Information

Posted in Asbestos, Asia, EU Developments, Global Tort Litigation, Insurance Coverage for Tort Claims, International Asbestos, Japan, Litigation Industry, Propensity to Claim, Risk Management, Sovereigns

Here is the online image of Munich Re’s recent, comprehensive report on asbestos litigation, Asbestos: Anatomy of a Mass Tort. The 112 page report is authored by Nicholas Roenneberg, and is Order number 302-06142. The report can be downloaded and printed from this page.The same page, on the right hand side, allows you to order… Continue Reading

UPDATE on the UPDATE: Pleural Plaques in the UK – The Dance Goes On

Posted in EU Developments, Pleural Plaques

Update on the Update: Through the written question and answer process, the UK government issued an October 21 acknowledgment here that it does not have a date in mind to announce a decision on pleural plaques, but the response will be made “as soon as possible.” “Julia Goldsworthy (Falmouth & Camborne, Liberal Democrat) To ask… Continue Reading

Report on Civil Justice in Scotland Calls for Class Actions and More Work on Litigation Funding and Contingency Fees

Posted in EU Developments, Litigation Funding, Litigation Industry

Lord Gill’s report on civil justice in Scotland was issued on 30 September. The full report and the synopsis are available here. See below for some key excerpts from the synopsis. “Multi‐party actions (Chapter 13) The Report recommends that there should be a special procedure for dealing with multiple claims which give rise to common… Continue Reading