In International Energy Group Limited v Zurich Insurance Plc UK Branch  EWCA Civ 39, the Court of Appeal overturned the first instance decision of Mr Justice Cooke in the High Court. The Court of Appeal decided that the defendant insurer (the Defendant) must indemnify the claimant insured (the Claimant) in full for the damages paid by the Claimant to an employee who had died of mesothelioma, following exposure to asbestos fibres during his 27 year employment with the Claimant. The Defendant had provided employers’ liability insurance to the Claimant for 6 of these 27 years and had argued that it was liable to indemnify the Claimant for only a proportionate amount of the damages paid to the employee. This was rejected by the court.
The Defendant’s alternative argument that the Claimant should be prevented from receiving the full indemnity for reasons of fairness, was also rejected by the Court of Appeal.