Big business has long been able to hide behind the fact that despite being a part of a much bigger group, they were the parent company and not the employing company. In most cases the employer may have gone out of business decades before and no insurer can be found to compensate victims of asbestos related diseases.

Companies have been able to hide behind what is legally termed the “Veil of Incorporation”. This has allowed them to evade corporate responsibility for the actions of their subsidiaries when exposing their staff to the horrors of asbestos. This legal principle effectively means that companies are legal entities in their own right and one company cannot be held responsible for the actions of another company.

This has left many victims of asbestos related disease without any form of compensation as the time lag between exposure to asbestos and the onset of symptoms can be as long as 40 years and the companies and their insurers in some cases, have long since ceased to exist.

In a recent case called Chandler v Cape [2012] brought by Leigh Day & Co it was successfully argued that a parent company, in this case, Cape were responsible for the actions of their subsidiary, Cape Building Products. The case was useful in setting out how the court came to its decision to lift the veil of incorporation and listed a number of factors.

Cape and their insurers are seeking to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court. Sadly big business and the insurance industry seem immune to the pain and suffering that torments asbestos victims and are seeking to drag these cases through appeal after appeal. It seems only yesterday that we settled the Trigger Litigation after nearly four years.

If you or a family member has been affected by asbestos please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialist solicitors today on 0800 294 3065.