I think it goes that far, but I do not think, with much respect, that it goes far enough. The causes of the complaint are separate. And it is clear that an agreement between the claimant and a simultaneous criminal liable cannot destroy the claimant`s claim against the other simultaneous infringer if his claim for damages is still not satisfied. The crucial question is how Auld L. J. correctly indicated, at page 342B, whether the claim is actually fulfilled. I believe that the answer will be found by looking at the terms of the agreement and comparing it to what has been claimed. The importance of the agreement lies in the effect that the parties wanted to give it. The fact that it was adopted through a compromise to close a deal is part of the background. But the scope of the compromise will differ from case to case.
The margin of litigation may have been limited by an agreement, for example on the issue of liability. There may be little room for disputes over the amount a judge would award as damages. Therefore, the number that the parties are willing to accept cannot be considered to be simply their assessment of the risks of litigation. The essential point is that the importance to be given to the agreement determines its effect. The defendants are the executors of the will of the late David Alan Jameson (“the deceased”), who died on 24 April 1988 as a result of evil mesothelioma. Prior to his death, he had initiated proceedings against his former employer Babcock Energy Ltd (“Babcock”). In 1953 and 1958, he claimed damages for mesothelioma which he had developed during four periods between 1953 and 1958 through Babcock`s negligence as a result of contact with asbestos in the course of his employment. These periods included work at battersea Power Station, Dewrance & Co. plant in south London, Babcock Welding School in Birmingham and Donnington power station in Derbyshire. On 30 March 1988, Babcock`s lawyers paid £75,000 to the court. The communication on this subject, sent to the deceased`s lawyer, stated that this amount, which contained interest, was “intended to satisfy all the appeal decisions to which the applicant is entitled”.
On 19 April 1988 his lawyers reached an oral agreement to settle the appeal of £80,000, plus costs. They sent a letter to Babcock`s lawyers that day without prejudice, including an explanation of their costs. On 20 April 1988 Babcock`s lawyer confirmed the agreement in the amount of £80,000 plus costs in the sum which they also agreed. They submitted a draft of approval and restitution. This draft provided for the suspension of all other proceedings (with the exception of the application of the conditions of the decision) under certain conditions, including the payment of £80,000 in fourteen days “in the full and final settlement of all the pleas raised by the applicant in the application”. Four days later, the deceased died. Subsequently, payment of the balance of the amount of the statement of costs was made. The agreement itself remained silent on these issues, but I think the good opinion of its nature was that it should take effect as soon as the agreement was concluded, because it had refuted the deceased`s right to compensation, subject to a tacit condition of resolution that would invalidate it from the outset if the culpable debt owed to it, would not be accomplished.. . .