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Investigation into rogue drug testing continues

Randox Testing Services has published an update on its investigation into the manipulation of toxicology data at its laboratories in Manchester and Crumlin.

The statement says: “RTS itself uncovered what it believed was evidence of data manipulation in January 2017 when it acted as whistleblower in reporting its suspicions to the police. The subsequent police enquiry into practices at RTS laboratories and those run by other companies has led to the arrest of two people. A criminal investigation into their alleged activities is on-going.”

The statement goes on to detail the scale of the problem.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 June 2017 09:55

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Drug driving convictions challenged after lab arrests

A scandal has arisen involving a company providing blood testing services after two workers from its Manchester lab were bailed following allegations that data was falsified.

The company, Randox Testing Services (RTS), provides testing services to police forces across the UK.

The affair came to light after the results of a test carried out by Randox were challenged by lawyer Nick Freeman, dubbed by the press ‘Mr Loophole’. Mr Freeman’s client, a 26-year-old Chester man, had been arrested in December 2015 on suspicion of drug driving. He gave a blood sample which was sent to Randox for analysis.

The results claimed to show the driver was not only over the prescribed limit for cannabis, but his blood also tested positive for traces of cocaine and another drug, which the defendant disputed.

Mr Freeman said: “We asked our expert to look at the Randox report. He identified a number of analytical issues that affected the reliability of the results.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:50

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Pimlico Plumbers v Smith Appeal Judgment will help workers in the gig economy says EHRC

A ruling from the Court of Appeal will help protect the rights of workers employed in the ‘gig economy’.

The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Gary Smith, employed by Pimlico Plumbers as an 'independent contractor', who claimed disability pay from the company after a heart attack ruled him out of work. An Employment Tribunal agreed with his claim and that he should be protected by equality law.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission funded Mr Smith’s case.

Pimlico Plumbers employ over one hundred workers as independent contractors, while requiring them to wear their uniform and drive branded vehicles, giving the impression they are permanent employees of the company.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 February 2017 08:55

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Report into bulk powers welcomed by government

The government has welcomed the publication of a report into the operational case for the use of bulk powers, as contained in the Investigatory Powers Bill.

The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, and his expert team assessed the specific question of whether the operational case for the powers has been made. The review team critically appraised the need for bulk capabilities, considering whether the same result could have been achieved through alternative investigative methods.

The report, published on 19 August, concluded that:

• Bulk interception is of ‘vital utility’ to the security and intelligence agencies and that alternative methods fall short of providing the same results. In one case assessed by the review team, in which a kidnap had taken place in Afghanistan, the report found that: “Without the use of bulk interception, it was highly likely that one or more of the hostages would have been killed before a rescue could be attempted.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2016 10:30

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Landmark asbestosis ruling is good news for sufferers

Your Expert WitnessCourt of Appeal rules entitlement to proportional compensation from as low as 2.3%

In a landmark asbestosis case, The Court of Appeal ruled today that asbestosis sufferers could be entitled to proportional compensation from as low as 2.3% from negligent employers, based upon the number of years worked. The historic ruling confirms that proportional compensation is applicable even if the employer’s overall contribution to the condition was minimal and the entitlement was as low as 2.3%.

The ruling relates to retired electrician, Mr Albert Carder, who was exposed to asbestos whilst working at Exeter University. Although most of his asbestos exposure occurred earlier in his career, Mr Carder’s lawyers, Moore Blatch, calculated that his employment at the university contributed 2.3% toward his asbestosis.

The Court of Appeal today upheld the calculation and judgement made by The High Court in July 2015 that Mr Carder was entitled to compensation. But at the time Exeter University’s insurers appealed,arguing the proportion of the exposure was minimal and had made "no discernible difference to his condition".

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 15:02

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