Peter Hodson is ‘Knowledgeable on occupational diseases’

Legal 500 2015

approachable ...commits totally to his clients' cases...recommended for occupational injury and disease claims.

Recommended for personal injury (Northern circuit) - Legal 500 2010, 2009 and 2008

..an advocacy style that is both 'persuasive and realistic'...invariably instils confidence in the clients

Chambers and Partners

PERSONAL PROFILE

Peter has a busy personal injury practice and specialises in the areas of industrial and occupational injuries.  He is described as responsive and approachable, particularly good with lay clients, yet not afraid to give forthright advice.  

Peter concentrates on claimant matters involving occupational injuries and diseases and has a particular interest in claims arising from asbestos exposure, post-traumatic stress and accidents suffered in the course of employment including those relating to Health & Safety at work. He has appeared in leading mesothelioma cases (see Rolls Royce v Cox).  Peter also undertakes numerous cases where injury has been suffered by prisoners along with housing disrepair and regular PI work.

Before being called to the Bar, Peter worked as a Welfare Rights Officer for Newcastle City Council.  He has taught a range of skills including Advocacy and Professional Conduct on the Bar Vocational Course at Manchester Metropolitan University and is a Registered Pupil supervisor.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Occupational diseases and injuries (Personal Injury)

Peter concentrates on claimant matters involving occupational injuries and diseases and has a particular interest in claims arising from asbestos exposure, post-traumatic stress and accidents suffered in the course of employment including those relating to Health & Safety at work. He undertakes work throughout England & Wales and has a wealth of experience in running and quaitifying claims, thorough on technical issues and a strong negotiator and advocate. Peter is always described as responsive and approachable, particularly good with lay clients, yet not afraid to give forthright advice.  He offers training and seminars on current topics in these fields.  

Personal injury

Peter is experienced in a wide range of cases arising from occupiers liabilities and defective premises, road and other traffic accidents, product liability, catastrophic and fatal accident claims and assessment of damages and infant settlement.

He also has particular experience of working with minors who have capacity issues ranging from minor claimants who have suffered minor injuries to  those who have suffered brain injury resulting in behavioural and intellectual change. Has been instructed to advise upon evidence, causation and quantum.  Recent examples include:

  • cases of carbon monoxide poisoning resulting in intellectual change
  • cases where the minor client was injured in a road traffic collision resulting in physical injury and intellectual impairment and the need for residential care

Peter has represented many Claimants in cases brought against the Ministry of Justice (and its predecessors) and against private operators of prisons on behalf of employees where injuries have been suffered in the course of employment duties and on behalf of prisoners injured by fellow prisoners or because of failings by the institution where they are being held.

Housing

Peter undertakes housing law with a particular interest in disrepair and associated personal injury claims.

Civil Actions Against the Police

Peter’s experience includes civil actions against the police and other detaining authorities, including for negligence, false imprisonment and misfeasance, particularly where there are associated personal injury claims for damages.

Peter has recently acted in a contested misfeasance trial, one of a very few successfully litigated cases against a police defendant in Curran v Chief Constable of Humberside Police (2014).  He is also instructed in a number of other misfeasance cases including one arising from a high profile murder investigation and another relating to the use of a non-lethal weapon (taser) against a child.

Other areas

Peter's practice includes professional and clinical negligence, including cases arising out of the alleged negligence of solicitors. he also undertakes work involving employer's liability, occupier's liability and highways.

REPORTED CASES

  • Curran v Chief Constable of Humberside Police, Kingston Upon Hull County Court, (2014)  - One of very few recent misfeasance in a public office cases which has proceeded to trial. The trial judge gave a clear exposition of the elements of the tort and of an interesting issue in relation to material damage (to our knowledge this issue has not been adjudicated on but may be case specific). There is also a very informative narrative of a judge’s approach to the assessment of witness evidence. The case decided liability in the Claimant’s favour. Quantum matters were thereafter resolved by negotiation. Mr Curran was also represented by Pete Weatherby QC before trial. More background.
  • Frith v DECC and Others Case No: HQ10X01557, RCJ 2/12/11 (2011)   Respiratory disease case brought against contractor companies to British Coal (and the statutory successor to British Coal). The claim was brought 6 years after the cut-off date for registration of cases within the British Coal Respiratory Disease Litigation scheme (and deemed 9 years out of time). The DECC defended the claim on the basis of limitation, extent of exposure and causation.  Peter Hodson was instructed in respect of the limitation issues (dealt with as a preliminary issue). The case preliminary issue was decided in the Claimant’s favour and the case went on to be settled by negotiation. This case is one of very few post cut-off BRCDL concluded successfully for the  Claimant. More background.
  • P v Ministry of Justice (2011)  Following the death in custody of JP as a consequence of negligent medical treatment provided to him by the MOJ, and following an inquest during which the jury gave a damming narrative verdict, JP's daughter brought proceedings on behalf of herself and JP's estate against the MOJ. In what is a developing area of law, claims were brought for breaches of Articles 2 and 8 of the ECHR and in negligence. The claims were settled following a failed attempt by the MOJ to strike them out.
  • L v Ministry of Justice (2011)  Following the death in custody (by suicide) of SC, and following an inquest during which the jury made adverse findings against the MOJ, his mother and siblings brought proceedings on behalf of themselves and SC's estate against the MOJ for breaches of Articles 2 and 8 of the ECHR and in negligence.
  • F v CC & Others (2011)  Widow of a worker employed by a contractor to CC who was exposed by CC to injurious quantities of asbestos and developed mesothelioma. The case involved complex procedural, evidential and quantum issues and a negotiated settlement of £350,000 was achieved.
  • DD v Keir North West (2008)  Represented the widow of an employee who fell from an unsafe scaffold and died from the injuries suffered. A negotiated settlement of £200,000 was achieved.
  • G v D (2007)  Represented the widow of a company director who died from mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos while in earlier employment. Quantum issues were complex given the remuneration package the deceased enjoyed and the fact that the company the deceased worked for was in its infancy. A £575,000 settlement was achieved.
  • Rolls Royce Industrial Power (India) Ltd v Cox [2007] EWCA Civ 1189 (mesothelioma; minimum duration of exposure to asbestos) Judgment.
  • Appeared for Javaherifard in  Javaherifard and Miller , described by Blackstones Criminal Practice 2006 as "a leading case on the construction of s. 25 of the Immigration Act 1971" (2005).
  • Openshaw v British Coal (2002)  and  Jackson v British Coal (2003) - PTSD claims against British Coal following a mining disaster.
  • Barber v Barrow, Nottingham and Exeter Councils  is believed to be the first case where substantial damages were recovered on behalf of the estate of a Building Control Officer exposed to asbestos in the course of his duties and sets date of knowledge in respect of building control officers.
  • Wright and others v British Coal and UK Coal  in which Peter appeared as Junior Counsel on behalf of a series of claimants seeking damages for non-disabling pneumoconiosis against British Coal and UK Coal.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Regional bar - Northern Circuit - Personal injury: Leading juniors (2015) "Garden Court North Chambers represents claimants in a wide range of areas, including occupational illnesses and disease, industrial disease (notably asbestos and deafness natters), and RTAs. In 2014, practice head Peter Hodson acted in Frith v DECC and others, a respiratory disease case brought against contractor companies to British Coal and its statutory successor. Peter Hodson is ‘Knowledgeable on occupational diseases.’ 

Regional bar - Northern Circuit - Personal injury (2010) "At Garden Court North Chambers, the 'approachable' Peter Hodson has a busy claimant practice and 'commits totally to his clients' cases'. He specialises in industrial and occupational injury claims." Legal 500 2010 

Regional bar - Northern Circuit - Personal injury (2009)  "Garden Court North Chambers' Peter Hodson is recommended for occupational injury and disease claims; he successfully represented the widow of an employee killed by a fall from scaffolding in  DD v Keir North West." Legal 500 2009

Leading junior in Crime: Northern (2009)  "Peter Hodson has  an advocacy style that is both 'persuasive and realistic' . Solicitors favour him as he  'invariably instils confidence in the clients'". Chambers & Partners 2009 

Regional Bar - Northern - Personal injury (2008)  "Garden Court North Chambers' Peter Hodson appeared for the successful respondent in the Court of Appeal mesothelioma litigation, Rolls Royce Indistrial Power v Cox". Legal 500 2008

PUBLICATIONS & SEMINARS

2015 & 2016 - Maximising personal injury damages (in-house seminar training for various firms)

2015 - Best practice in conducting PI litigation including the issues of (a) Qualified One Way Cost Shifting (QOCS) (b) Witness Statements and documents and (c) Limitation - (in-house training for various firms)

4/11/11 - Court confirms law will not recognise assignment of bare right to litigate (Lexis Nexis Current Awareness)

13/10/11 - Supreme Court rejects insurers' Article 1 challenge to Scottish Act on damages for asbestos-related conditions

12/10/11 - Ogden Tables updated to reflect changes in mortality predictions

28/6/11 - Disrepair claims: how to make them less of a bore and a chore (GCN seminar, Manchester)

22/12/10 - Personal injury claims - increasingly exaggerated? (Lexis Nexis Current Awareness)

MEMBERSHIPS & ASSOCIATIONS

Personal Injury Bar Association