Relatives of a shipyard worker who died from an asbestos-related cancer were awarded £125,000 damages on Friday in the first case to be heard in Scotland following a change in the civil jury system.
The family of the late John Kelly sued the former Upper Clyde Shipbuilders for compensation under damages legislation, covering such issues as grief and sorrow, following his death in April 2008 at the age of 82, months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
The action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh was the first to be heard following a decision by five judges that additional guidance should be given to jurors in such cases.
The former Lord President, Lord Hamilton, said the previous absence of guidance from the presiding judge at a civil jury trial over the level of damages to be awarded was "an unsatisfactory feature" which needed to be changed.
During the case brought by relatives of Mr Kelly, Lady Clark of Calton told the 12 jurors that she would put forward a range of figures for their consideration, but they were not binding.
She told them: "This is not a direction. Any spectrum or range I suggest is merely to give you some assistance."
The judge said that the ranges they might consider included an award for a widow of between £40,000 and £80,000.
But she told the jurors: "It is fundamentally a matter for you to come to your own assessment."
The judge said they might be wondering why they were asked to consider the level of damages rather than her, but added it was because parliament had recognised that their diverse experience of life was of great value in such a case.
The jury awarded Mr Kelly's widow Lyla, of Dalmuir, Clydebank a total of £45,500.
His son John Kelly, also of Clydebank, and daughter Clare Sekulowicz, of Strathblane, in Stirlingshire, were each awarded £25,000.
Further sums went to grandchildren and a brother.
They were asked whether the illness and death of Mr Kelly was caused by the fault of the liquidated shipbuilder, but were directed to answer that in the affirmative by the judge after liability was admitted, with the jurors left to decide the level of damages.
Mr Kelly had worked at the Clydebank shipyard as a plater's helper and labourer on ships such as the Sylvania and HMS Hampshire and was exposed to asbestos dust.
The pensioner had been fit and active but developed breathlessness before his diagnosis with the condition.
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