Posted by Helen Childs, Partner
Brewery worker’s mesothelioma claim settles for over £200,000
When R was diagnosed with mesothelioma his first thoughts about where he had come into contact with asbestos were that it must have been when he lived in South Africa as a child.
R could remember the local asbestos mines being dusty when the wind blew in a certain direction. He assumed that a claim and government assistance was not possible to help him and his family (he was married and had a teenage son)
However, he attended a local support group and got talking to another client of ours, and decided to seek legal advice. RW had worked as a self employed aviation photographer for most of his life, but as a young man, after returning from South Africa, he worked in a brewery for a few months, and also in a pub in Charlbury that was undergoing refurbishment. Having only worked in each place for a relatively short time, his recollection of the circumstances was not entirely clear – but he could remember seeing maintenance workers at the Brewery. He also remembered the pub being dusty when they refurbished it. The pub insurers could not be traced, so an application to the governments fund of last resort was also lodged.
Sadly R’s condition deteriorated and he died, but his widow was able to continue with the claim on behalf of herself and her son. R was earning a relatively low wage by the time he was diagnosed, but he did much of the household work and enjoyed helping his son with his studies. When the time came he intended to teach him to drive (a prospect his mother was dreading!)
Research online uncovered details of another claim against the brewery, pursued by our very own Nicky Howe before she joined us. She was able to share her own witness evidence, which gave a very clear description of the working conditions there.
Court proceedings were commenced and shortly before the date for the first court review hearing an offer of over £200,000 was received and accepted, in addition to repayment of the sums due to the hospice for the care they provided to R.
We had always been a little concerned about the fact R only worked at the brewery for a relatively short time. However when his son was told about the offer he commented that the brewery would be keen not to defend the case to trial as if it was successful it would certainly “open the floodgates” for other workers who had been there for longer.
If you have any questions for our specialist mesothelioma team, please contact us today.
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