establishing the trigger point for employers’ liability insurance

The decision of the Supreme Court in BAI (Run Off) Ltd v Durham & Ors is the most recent chapter in long running litigation on the liability of insurers under policies taken out by employers to cover them for industrial diseases contracted by employees. The litigation arose over the liability of insurers for mesothelioma, an incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, which can take up to 40 years to develop after a single exposure. Because of the long time lag, by the time employees become aware that they have suffered the injury, their employer may have been defunct for many years, so they are entirely reliant on insurance cover in any compensation claim. A group of mesothelioma sufferers, and their families, brought proceedings to recover compensation, and the employers’ insurers denied liability.