Four Devereux Counsel in “EL Trigger” Insurance Supreme Court Appeal

What began as one of the Lawyer Magazine’s ‘Top Trials for 2008’ comes to its conclusion in a 2 week hearing in the Supreme Court this week. The Employers’ Liability Insurance Policy ‘Trigger’ litigation is to determine whether insurers should pay claims under employers' liability policies arising from claims by mesothelioma victims exposed to asbestos during their employment.

The various test cases are being heard together to resolve an important dispute over the relevant ‘trigger’ under various employers’ liability insurance policies which applied to employers of those who suffered and died from mesothelioma. The appeal focuses on what had to happen during the period of insurance when the insuring clause of a policy stipulated either that an injury must be "sustained” or that a disease must be "contracted” during the period of insurance. The insurers will argue on appeal that the relevant ‘trigger’ under the policies is not the exposure to asbestos, but the development, many years later, of mesothelioma. 

Devereux Chambers has four counsel involved: Head of Chambers Colin Edelman QC appears for one of the lead insurers, while Colin Wynter QC is on the other side of the argument acting for a number of the claimants. Juniors Richard Harrison and Andrew Burns are also acting on the claimants’ side of the argument in what is likely to be one of the leading cases on the meaning of employers’ liability insurance policies. 

This has been covered in:

The Independent

Evening Standard

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