Barbara Goddard - DAC Beachcroft
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Barbara Goddard

Barbara specialises in personal injury and disease claims, with over 20 years’ experience in this field. She leads our London disease team and handles particularly complex and unusual/high-value employers' liability claims, disease claims and public/product liability cases.

Barbara has specialist experience of asbestos, stress, silicosis, tuberculosis, legionnaire's disease, occupational cancer, carbon monoxide, cabin air claims and poisoning claims. She has a particular interest in new and emerging trends in the disease arena, including occupational cancer more recently COVID-19.

She also specialises in cases with a complex company or insurance history, and claims from USA based companies. She handles stress claims for several large banks and recently successfully defended a stress claim brought against a national retailer. Barbara deals with claims for a number of large and well known corporate clients, and has a full understanding of their complex and challenging insurance history. As well as managing corporate nominations in London for construction companies, energy companies, retailers, banks, universities, local authorities, she does work for many of the UK major insurers.

Barbara is responsible for supervising employers' liability work and all work within the disease team. Barbara has experience of dealing with Health and Safety prosecutions and works with the Safety Health and Environment team on civil cases where there is also a prosecution. Barbara also works closely with the strategic litigation unit on disease-related claims and issues, and with the employment group on injury related issues. Barbara deals with claims from care claims including advising on Covid19 claims.

Relevant experience includes:

  • Successfully defending a stress claim brought by a HR advisor for a large national retailer. The claimant took sick leave and never returned, subsequently alleging stress at work due to an excessive work load. On careful review of the claimant’s medical records she had a long history of stress, depression and anxiety which she had omitted to inform her employer of. The claim was defended on all aspects of liability, causation and quantum and the claimant discontinued the claim on day two of the trial.
  • Successfully defending a claim brought by a claimant who alleged exposure to diesel vapour and leaded petrol during his employment with the defendant had caused him to develop Parkinson’s disease. Expert evidence was obtained from three experts in different disciplines and the claim was defended on both liability and causation. Barbara ran a case that the claimant had not made out the claim on causation or established that any exposure that occurred even if negligent caused/contributed to the claimant’s Parkinson’s disease. The neurology experts agreed that extensive research over 50 years had failed to identify a single environmental cause of Parkinson’s disease and epidemiological studies may imply association but not causation. Our expert went further saying that on the balance of probabilities the claimant’s typical Parkinson’s disease was not related to industrial exposure nor did it make a material contribution to the development of his Parkinson’s disease. Strong and favourable expert evidence having been obtained persuaded the claimant to discontinue the case just before a five day trial.
  • Successfully defending a mesothelioma claim for a large insurer in circumstances where exposure elsewhere was much more likely and favourable witness and engineering evidence were obtained.

Barbara regularly speaks at events. She recently (September 2020) presented at a webinar to over 250 brokers on the topic of Claims Trends in a post Covid19 world and wrote an article on occupational stress in the construction sector which was published in Construction News earlier this year (January 2020).

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