Posted by Helen Childs, Partner
Compensation for mesothelioma secured due to our extensive knowledge of industry
This case was complex both from a medical and legal viewpoint, but our solicitor’s extensive knowledge of industry and thorough approach to researching the claimant’s employment history made a successful claim possible.
Mr M died of mesothelioma just six months after his diagnosis. He initially instructed a well-known London firm to act for him. They didn’t go and see him and instead took a brief employment history over the phone. This confirmed his exposure was during the 9 months that he had worked for a firm which erected asbestos buildings. They couldn’t be traced.
Mr M’s condition deteriorated shortly before he was due to give a statement to his solicitors by phone. His wife called to tell them he was desperately ill in hospital but they still didn’t arrange to go and see him before he died. The cause of death on his death certificate was lung cancer.
His previous firm confirmed there was nothing further they could do in relation to a claim.
However, Mrs M didn’t give up on the claim and instead contacted our Helen Childs to see if the asbestos building company could be traced.
Helen got Mr’s file and employment history from his previous lawyers. It turned out that in the 1960s he had also worked in Bromley by Bow gas works and William Press doing conversion work from Town to Natural Gas. Both of these companies are well-known asbestos defendants. Although there was no direct evidence of his exposure to asbestos with either employer after extensive research Helen found statements from others doing similar work.
As an added complication it turned out he had had lung cancer and mesothelioma. He had had a part of his lung removed shortly before the mesothelioma diagnosis and complicated medical evidence was needed to show the prognosis for the lung cancer but for the mesothelioma.
The exposure to asbestos fell marginally short of that needed to link the lung cancer to asbestos.
The claim was hotly contested but after Helen issued proceedings it settled for £100k plus.
Helen comments, “It’s vital to see clients face to face, and to take a full employment history from them. A further meeting may well be necessary once the employment history is received. It is very sad that Mr M was unable to settle the claim during his lifetime, but very satisfying that settlement was possible – even in such a difficult case medically.”
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