Posted by Helen Childs, Partner
Claim for Imperial Tobacco worker with light exposure to asbestos settles
Mrs H developed mesothelioma. She could not recall definite exposure to asbestos during the course of her own employment and the first solicitor she contacted was unable to continue with the claim.
She approached Royds Withy King and they obtained a full statement from her detailing her potential exposure to asbestos as a result of her own work in factories in the Nottingham area, and as a result of her ex-husband’s work and his brother’s work.
Because of the complicated way that claims for secondary exposure to asbestos are pursued (you need to find a public liability insurer from 10 years before the individual became unwell) as is frequent for this type of case Mrs H could not pursue her claim for compensation against her ex-husband or ex-brother-in-law’s former employers. They had ceased trading long since.
A claim was submitted to the Government’s fund of last resort in relation to some of the lingerie factories she had worked in, even though she could not describe definite exposure to asbestos there only that it was dusty and that there was repair work being carried out. It was a similar situation with regard to Imperial Tobacco, where she had worked in the packing department for less than a year in the 1960s. It was also dusty there, and she could recall maintenance work being carried out.
Mrs H remained very well, and was certain she was keeping her illness in check because of her very healthy diet, cutting out sugar entirely, and her use of herbal and other supplements.
Her claim for compensation was, however, very difficult. There was no definite exposure to asbestos and even after the decision in Bussey, which indicated that throughout the 70s it was not necessary to show significant exposure in excess of TDN13, the claim was difficult and we were not able to satisfy the Court at the Court hearing that judgment should be entered against the defendants. However settlement was agreed for £75,000 in the autumn of 2018.