Posted by Jennifer Seavor, Partner
Former Plessey employee receives compensation for mesothelioma
Sidney Stump was employed by The Plessey Company Limited in the maintenance department as a mill wright’s mate and later as a pipe fitter from approximately 1957 until 1981/82. Throughout his time in the maintenance department Sidney was heavily exposed …
Sidney Stump was employed by The Plessey Company Limited in the maintenance department as a mill wright’s mate and later as a pipe fitter from approximately 1957 until 1981/82.
Throughout his time in the maintenance department Sidney was heavily exposed to asbestos dust. He removed asbestos lagging from steam pipes throughout the factory and mixed loose asbestos with water to form a paste. He would use the paste to re-lag pipes. He also cut preformed asbestos lagging and swept up any dust and debris he created. He was not provided with any form of breathing protection.
In late 2017 Sidney began to notice symptoms of breathlessness and cough. He attended his GP and it was initially thought that he was suffering from a chest infection. When his symptoms did not resolve, he was referred for a chest x-ray and then a CT scan. His consultant informed him that he had lung cancer and he underwent a biopsy to determine the type. Sadly, on 12 February 2018 Sidney was told that he had mesothelioma and unfortunately, there were no treatment options available.
Following his diagnosis Sidney approached Jennifer Seavor, to advise him regarding a claim. Jennifer was able to attend Sidney at home and take a statement from him about his employment history and exposure to asbestos at The Plessey Company Limited. She was able to assist Sidney in securing government benefits that he was entitled to as a result of his diagnosis of mesothelioma.
A letter of claim was sent to Plessey’s insurers. After allowing reasonable time for them to investigate, no substantive response was received and Court proceedings were issued in June 2018 in order to progress Sidney’s claim.
At the first Court hearing the judge looked at all of the evidence and agreed that Plessey did not have a realistic prospect of defending the claim. Judgment was entered in favour of Sidney and an interim payment of damages was secured in the sum of £50,000. Further directions were also put in place leading to final hearing in November 2018 in order to move the claim forward and achieve settlement in Sidney’s lifetime, which was his wish.
Just prior to the hearing, at the end of October 2018, settlement of Sidney’s claim was negotiated for a sum in excess of £130,000.
Mr Stump’s son, Kevin, said: “when we started our discussions with Jennifer we had no idea of what compensation was available and what was involved. From our first meeting onward everything was explained in simple terms that we could understand. From the first day we met Jennifer we felt comfortable that our claim would be handled in the right way and we were correct.”
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