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Over 300,000 people in Britain work in the agricultural sector today. Many farmers and farm workers were raised in farming families or communities and are proud of the rewarding work...
This is a Bristol case where the mesothelioma sufferer had to give what is known as “commission evidence” at a hearing in advance of the main trial.
I have been involved in many of these and my latest one concerned the late Jane Merritt who last January gave evidence at a hotel close to her house. The hearings can be set up very quickly and efficiently and the solicitor will arrange for a, usually retired Judge to preside over the hearing. Both parties attend with their instructed Barristers and the mesothelioma sufferer who is the “Claimant”.
The hearings provide for the opportunity for the Claimant to tell their story under oath at a time when they are fit and well. The main Court trial can be many months ahead and in this Bristol case it is at the end of March 2015. At the main trial a transcript of the commission evidence will be available together with a video recording.
In the case of Jane Merritt, the matter settled not long after she gave her evidence at the commission hearing and so a full blown trial was avoided. Jane Merritt sadly lost her life to mesothelioma in May 2014 after having the disease for almost three years. During that time she was an absolute inspiration to others – she continued with her charity work at the Savernack Hospital in Marlborough and carried on going on holidays and doing the things she normally did. She was not going to be crushed by the disease and felt that justice had been done when her case succeeded against her former employers, The Plessey Company, during her lifetime for their negligent exposure to asbestos dust and fibres. Jane worked there in the factory on the production line and then got promoted to secretary between the years 1964 to 1971.
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