Disease: Court of Appeal considers constructive knowledge and section 33 discretion


Collins v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and Stena Line Irish Sea Ferries Ltd
Court of Appeal
23 May 2014

Patrick McBrien reviews this Court of Appeal judgment which clarifies the definition of constructive knowledge and the court’s section 33 discretion in a disease context. The claimant who in 2002 was diagnosed as suffering from inoperable lung cancer was a former dock worker who had been exposed to asbestos. The Court of Appeal dismissed the claimant’s appeal both on the question of when the claimant had the requisite knowledge and on the issue of whether the court should have exercised its discretion to allow the claim to proceed.

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Patrick McBrien


I am a Director in the insurance litigation team in Manchester. I deal with a full range of occupational disease and complex injury cases, with a particular interest in stress and harassment claims.