Posted by Jennifer Seavor, Partner
Family of former Kitsons lagger receive compensation
Colin Hunter was sadly diagnosed with mesothelioma at the age of 71 in 2016. At the time of his diagnosis Colin was still working as a self employed heating engineer.
He began to experience symptoms of abdominal pain and swelling in June 2016. He went to his GP as thought he had a virus at first. However, after investigations, he was told that he had developed peritoneal mesothelioma.
Colin’s cancer was aggressive and sadly he deteriorated quickly and died in Arthur Rank Hospice in July 2016.
Upon instruction, we attended Colin in his Hospice the day after we were first contacted, on a Saturday. We took a statement from him and hand wrote it so Colin could sign it. Sadly, he died the day after.
He left a loving family including his wife Dorothy who decided to continue with his legal claim for compensation.
Colin was exposed to asbestos decades before. At the age of 18 in 1963 he started working for Kitsons Insulation Limited as a lagger in industrial buildings. He had to use asbestos to mix up lagging which he applied to pipework and boilers. He also removed old lagging which was crumbling and mixed up and applied new lagging. He was given a paper mask but this did nothing to protect him from breathing in the asbestos dust and fibres.
After leaving Kitsons Colin did a number of different jobs including working as a plasterer and a milkman. Later on he started his own business as a heating engineer and his company was very successful.
Kitsons changed name to Prescot (No.1) in the 1990s and subsequently went into compulsory liquidation. However, we traced their former employer’s liability insurers which meant that the claim could be directed to them. Liability was admitted in May 2017 and at that stage they made an interim payment of £50,000 to Dorothy.
We continued with the claim and obtained further medical evidence which suggested that Colin would have lived for more than a further 15 years had it not been for his mesothelioma.
We also obtained expert evidence from an accountant who considered that Colin’s own business was doing so well that he had lost significant earnings due to developing and dying from mesothelioma when he did.
In the end, his widow Dorothy accepted over £230,000 in compensation from the claim.
Jennifer Seavor, who conducted the case said “the compensation will very sadly not bring Colin back but at least it gives Dorothy the security of knowing that she does not have to worry about her financial security. The Hunters are a lovely family and it is absolutely tragic what has happened to them. Colin had worked hard all of his life only to be diagnosed with mesothelioma out of the blue at the relatively young age of 71. He had so much life left to live. I know he is very much missed by his family and friends.”
Dorothy said that Jennifer had been “very supportive and helpful through my grief and always kept in touch. Happy throughout with the service.”
If you or a family member have been affected by asbestos disease or would like any advice then please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Seavor or another member of our specialist mesothelioma and asbestos disease team.
01225 459991 Email us