Our asbestos claims team of lawyers were instructed by Mr M in February 2013 shortly after he had been diagnosed as suffering from asbestos related lung cancer. Sadly Mr M died in April 2013 and his claim was continued by the Executors of his Estate.
Exposure to asbestos
Mr M had been employed for approximately four years in the 1970s as an assistant pipe fitter and pipe fitter with The Chiswick Heating Company Ltd, a plumbing and heating company. He was required to undertake work on boilers and pipework mainly for schools and other public buildings owned by London councils in the West London area. He removed old asbestos lagging from boilers and associated pipework, removed and installed asbestos flues and he was also exposed to asbestos dust as a consequence of the work of asbestos laggers applying new asbestos lagging to the boilers and pipework in confined spaces in boiler rooms where he was working. He was not provided with masks or respiratory equipment nor was he warned of the dangers of inhaling asbestos dust and fibres.
Making an asbestos disease claim
Our lawyers visited Mr M at home in order to take a full and detailed witness statement from him setting out the full details of his asbestos exposure history. Witness statements were also taken from members of Mr M’s family who provided care and support to him following his diagnosis and during the last months of his life and a work colleague who confirmed the appalling working conditions they had experienced and the exposure to asbestos dust and fibres.
Supportive medical evidence was obtained to confirm the diagnosis of lung cancer after the death of Mr M. Surprisingly a post mortem report and Inquest into the cause of Mr M’s death found that he had died from lung cancer but that this was from “natural causes”.
Supportive engineering evidence was obtained which confirmed that Mr M had been exposed to very high levels of asbestos dust and fibres during the course of his employment with The Chiswick Heating Company Limited.
Efforts were made by our lawyers on behalf of Mr M’s family to reach a compromise settlement with the insurers of The Chiswick Heating Company Limited at an early stage but the company’s insurers denied liability and insisted upon obtaining their own medical and engineering evidence. They contended that any exposure that may have taken place during the course of Mr M’s employment with the company was insufficient to have caused him to develop the lung cancer which led to his death and refused to discuss making any offer in settlement.
Reaching a settlement
Our lawyers argued forcefully that the claimant’s engineering evidence was likely to prevail at trial and shortly before court proceedings were about to be issued and served the Insurer’s lawyers agreed to discuss settlement of the claim. Negotiations took place and the claim was settled for the gross sum of £203,000. Following deductions for contributory negligence (for the deceased’s smoking history) and Government benefits already paid to Mr M in his lifetime the family received the net sum of £137,000.
Mr M's widow commented about the service our lawyers provided, “I would like to say a huge thank you to you for pursuing the case on our behalf and achieving the outcome that “Mr M” would have been satisfied with. As a result “Mr M” has been able to leave something to our children and grandchildren something he so desperately wanted for them. Boyes Turner have an exemplary Associate in Kay Borthwick. She showed compassion and professionalism in what can only be described as the most difficult time in my family’s being. It was always a pleasure to talk to her.”