The Claimant was the widow of en electrician employed by the Defendant. Her husband had contracted Mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during the course of his employment. The Claimant brought a claim following the death of her husband. As part of the claim the value of her dependency was calculated in accordance with her own life expectancy.
However, before the case came to Trial the Claimant herself was diagnosed with Mesothelioma due to secondary exposure as a result of washing her husbands work clothes. Her life expectancy as a result had dramatically reduced. The parties agreed that this reduced the value of the dependency claim by £200,000.00.
The Claimant brought a second action seeking damages for her own injuries, including a claim for the diminution in value of her first action. This claim was dismissed in the first instance. The Judge stated that although the loss had been suffered it was contrary to principal to allow the Claimant to recover in her own right. It was agreed however, that causation was established, this loss arose as a result of the Defendant's negligent exposure of the Claimant to asbestos.
The Claimant appealed and the only issue to be decided was whether this was a recoverable head of damage in law.
The Defendant had argued that the Claimant was seeking wrongly to import the dependency loss into common law. The Court held that the principals governing the Compensation Act were unaffected, and that there was nothing to suggest parliament intended to deny a Claimant in this situation the right to recovery.
Secondly it was argued that the Claimant ought not to be able to recover dependency for a period when she would not in fact be dependent. However, it was held that it is possible to recover losses when a Claimant is no longer living (Pickett v British Rail Engineering  AC 136 and fox v British Airways  EWCA Civ 972) However, the Claimant had actually suffered the loss at the point the first action was settled.
Finally, the notion the loss might be too remote was rejected. The Defendant must take the Claimant as they find her. It was reasonably foreseeable that the reduction in her life expectancy would lead to a diminution in value of the litigation claim.