Grieves v FT Everard & Sons Ltd & conjoined appeals [2007] UKHL 39

Claimants appealed against a decision that pleural plaques caused by negligent exposure to asbestos, which were not in themselves damage that could give rise to a cause of action, did not become actionable damage when aggregated with the risk of future disease and consequent anxiety.

Appeals dismissed. The symptom-less plaques were not damage that could found a cause of action. Save in the most exceptional case, the plaques would never cause any symptoms, did not increase the susceptibility of the Claimants to other diseases or shorten their expectation of life and had no effect upon their health. Neither the risk of future disease nor anxiety about the possibility of that risk materialising amounted to damage for the purpose of creating a cause of action.