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Head v Culver: Appeal win sees nil award rise to £2.4m for client

Judgement handed down this week in Peter Williams' case Head v Culver will see the family of Mike Head receive settlement of £2.4m rather than the nil award set down at first trial for loss of earnings, making it one of the highest ever awards in a mesothelioma claim. Sadly, Mike died from mesothelioma before his Court of Appeal win, aged 61.

The Judge, Mr Justice Johnson in the High Court, said it was never disputed that the success of Mr Head's heating business was attributable to Mr Head’s 'immense hard-work and talent'.

Despite the success and profitability of the company being very likely to continue, Judge Johnson overturned the original decision that stated there was no financial loss following Mr Head's inability to continue running the company. Judge Johnson recognised that Mr Head felt he must hand over the company to his sons much earlier than he would have wanted after he contracted the disease.

Peter said that he always knew that the first judge had made a serious error, leading him to cite the very rarely used legal exception of 'manifest injustice'.

Refusing to give up, Peter went to court three times in total, including at the Court of Appeal, and succeeded in having the original ruling reversed.

'Justice has finally been done because we refused to give up. This case went to three trials and illustrates that clients trust us not to give up on them when we know they have been unfairly treated,' he said.

The judge refused the defendants application for permission to appeal.

Read the judgement here.

Update August 2021: The defendants were refused permission to appeal by the Court of Appeal, which gives finality to the family.

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