Judicial Approaches to Contested Causation: Fairchild V. Glenhaven Funeral Services in Context
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
The decision of the House of Lords in Fairchild v. Glenhaven Funeral Services raises important questions about the compensation of employees for occupational injury. In Fairchild, the principal issue was whether an employee could recover where he could prove negligently inflicted injury, but, having worked for more than one employer, not the identity of the person who caused the injury. This article considers the issue in the wider context of judicial responses to uncertainty in personal injury litigation. It suggests that Fairchild raises issues which are little different from those in other personal injury cases where judges have been prepared to take a pragmatic approach to causation, in order to allow a deserving plaintiff to recover damages.
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