Posted by Helen Childs, Partner
Out of time claim for mesothelioma settles within eight months
Mr S – who lived in Newcastle – had been diagnosed with asbestos related problems in 2007. At the time he had instructed local Solicitors to investigate and they told him – without obtaining his medical notes and records – that he had asymptomatic pleural plaques and a claim would not be possible.
Mr S thought no more of it, but then he became very unwell in the spring/summer of 2018 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Mr S was a divorced man with no dependents. It was imperative that his claim be settled during his lifetime or any compensation for the last years would be lost and would not be recoverable by his estate.
Mr S had worked for numerous companies and been exposed to asbestos, but by carrying out full company searches we were able to establish that one of the companies – Alliance Long Acre, had previously been restored to the company register and pursued on at least three occasions for asbestos related illnesses since they had become insolvent many years before. We were confident therefore that the Court would find that Alliance’s insurers were not prejudiced in investigating the claim for mesothelioma more than ten years after Mr S first developed asbestos related problems.
Mr S’s medical notes and records indicated that at the time the previous Solicitors had told him he had pleural plaques and there was nothing he could do, he did in fact have pleural thickening or asbestosis and a claim should have been brought at that stage. Failing to bring the claim then made the claim for mesothelioma more complicated and could have prevented it entirely.
Mr S was considerably disabled by his symptoms when we first visited him in July 2018, and when we visited him again in January 2019 he was very unwell. Court proceedings had been commenced, and a hearing listed to put a timetable in place for the assessment of the compensation due to him, with us pushing for the earliest possible date (without indicating to the defendants quite how unwell he was)
We had obtained evidence about the possibility of immune therapy treatment being appropriate. And the defendants agreed an indemnity for any future immunotherapy treatment as part of the settlement.
We were worried that Mr S may not survive long enough to conclude his claim and concerted efforts were made to settle it. We made offers in settlement, on an all inclusive basis and another offer plus an immunotherapy indemnity. Mr S’s claim was concluded in February 2019, for a substantial six figure sum including approximately £50,000 to £60,000 for the last years’ element of the claim -which only Mr S could pursue.
Sadly Mr S died in March his funeral took place on the what would have been his 72nd birthday.
If you want to find out more about making an industrial diseases compensation claim, please contact our specialist team.
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