Significant English Supreme Court decision overturns High Court and Appeal Court ruling on personal injury compensation.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

Three former employees of a chemical company appealed against the decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal that held they could not claim against their employer for damages for personal injury.

Johnson Matthey, the respondent employer, allegedly failed to properly clean the areas in which three of its employees worked and, as a result, they developed a sensitivity to platinum salts whilst working on the production of catalytic converters. Two of the men were dismissed on medical grounds and the other was given a lesser paid position as a result. The sensitivity was discovered after a routine skin prick test was carried out.