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Pauline is a Partner in the Industrial Disease team and has specialised in work accidents and disease claims for over 35 years. Her thousands of clients have suffered a wide variety of injuries including mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases, bladder cancer from various chemicals, nasal cancer from wood dust, dermatitis, asthma and other lung diseases from irritant chemicals and dusts.
She has taken on numerous cases which other solicitors turned down because they could not find the employers’ liability insurers and she often obtains compensation in cases which are more than three years old and, therefore, outside the normal limitation period.
She also sues other solicitors for their negligent handling of accident or disease cases and is not afraid to sue insurance companies who try to renege on their policies.
Pauline is recognised by Chambers UK Guide as “formidable, fantastic and very thorough and who will take on cases that others say are too hard to do”.
Best career moment: There have been lots. It’s hard to choose between the relief of winning the landmark victory for welders following a four week court fight for compensation for welder’s’ lung; or the Court of Appeal case that won compensation for mesothelioma for seagoing engineers; or the Court of Appeal case of Cookson that won compensation for bladder cancer from aniline dyes; or winning compensation for Lee Ellison, who nearly died when he swallowed cleaning fluid that had been put in a lemonade bottle in a pub and which left him with serious and permanent internal damage. The public liability insurance company refused to pay up. Two previous solicitors had given up the fight and so almost had Lee. There was a definite “feel good factor” about settling that one.
Notable judgments include:
- Knox v Cammell Laird 1990: Welder’s lung victory and precedent for all other similar claims; frequently referred to in other disease cases
- Owen v IMI 1995: Mesothelioma from being a bystander near asbestos use but which he never handled himself; precedent case, frequently referred to in other cases
- Jeromson v Shell 2001: Court of Appeal decision awarding damages to mesothelioma sufferers in seagoing engineers; precedent case and often referred to in other disease claims
- Cookson v Novartis 2007: Court of Appeal decision awarding damages for bladder cancer from aniline dyes; precedent case referred to in other cases and establishing the carcinogenicity and mutagenicity of some chemicals
- Sabin v BR 2010: Another landmark decision about what pathology evidence is required to justify a diagnosis of asbestosis, challenging the conventional view held by some pathologists in Great Britain. This will be another precedent case for future asbestos claims
Other notable cases include:
- Mitchell v Mitchamhills 2010: £375,000 award for nasal cancer in a case rejected by other solicitors because they could not find the insurers
- Whitworth v Atlas Trading Company: A mesothelioma case abandoned by two previous solicitors because they could not find the insurers. Pauline threatened to sue the insurance company themselves whereupon they paid up
- Schofield v TS Chemicals: An asthma case, abandoned by former solicitors. Pauline sued them for professional negligence, obtaining £36,000 compensation. Chris Schofield was delighted and he commented “I am just so glad I contacted Pannone and wish I had gone there in the first place”
- Hughes v Vernon & Roberts: A mesothelioma case against a company that was insolvent. The defunct insurer/FSCS would not pay up because there had been money distributed between the directors when the company was wound up. They said it should have been used to pay the claim so Pauline took the highly unusual step of suing the directors for misfeasance and won.
Pauline has appeared on radio and TV in relation to many of her personal injury cases and many of them have been reported in the press.