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Written by Laura Magson

Laura acted for Reg who contacted her following his diagnosis of mesothelioma. Reg was fit and healthy until the autumn of 2019 when he started to become breathless. His GP thought that he was suffering from COPD and prescribed inhalers. He underwent chest x-rays, CT scans and following which he had a thoracoscopy which unfortunately revealed that he was suffering from mesothelioma. He was diagnosed on Christmas Eve.

He saw an oncologist who recommended chemotherapy and before the outbreak of coronavirus, he commenced a course at a local hospital.

Asbestos exposure

Reg recalled coming into contact with asbestos when he worked as a technical engineer in the 1960s and 1970s. He worked in tunnels which contained asbestos lagged pipes. When running cables, this invariably disturbed asbestos lagging in the tunnels, but also in risers and RSJs. He worked alongside pipe fitters who wrapped “asbestos bandages around pipes”. He also used asbestos raw plug and thought that he was exposed to asbestos through Bakelite telephones. He drilled through ceilings which were made of asbestos and went into boiler rooms where boilers and pipework were lagged with asbestos.

Laura visited Reg at his home before the outbreak of the coronavirus to take a detailed statement from him about his asbestos exposure. She promptly notified the claim to Reg’s former employer and obtained a supportive witness statement from one of Reg’s former colleagues. Reg also had a list of other people to contact if corroborative statements were needed. Laura made this clear to Reg’s former employer’s insurers which brought about an admission of liability within two months.

Laura obtained medical reports from an independent chest physician as is required in mesothelioma cases to confirm the diagnosis of mesothelioma. The doctor gave a history of the symptoms and treatment to date and confirmed that Reg is likely to be a candidate for immunotherapy in the future. Laura pushed for an interim payment of £50,000 which was received within three months of first instruction and the claim was settled for £160,000 gross within five months without the need to issue formal Court proceedings.

Making a claim during a pandemic

The past two months have been very difficult for Reg, not least because of the mesothelioma, but also because of the current pandemic. His hospital appointments have taken place wherever possible by telephone or video call and there has been a stop on the chemotherapy. It was really important to Reg and his family that the case was concluded as quickly as possible so that they have the knowledge of the financial security, but also to leave open the door for Reg should he need treatment that is not available on the NHS. Immunotherapy is currently not available on the NHS and must either be paid for privately or via a clinical trial. Laura persuaded the defendant to agree to fund any future treatment that Reg may need should he be suitable for it and is issuing a claim form to protect Reg’s position at the High Court, with an order detailing the agreement of the funding so that the agreement is in place should Reg need it.

Laura said:

"it was a pleasure to meet Reg and his family the one time at their home before the coronavirus outbreak. Any such meetings would of course now take place via video conference to protect Reg who is isolating and of course the wider family. Whilst no amount of money can compensate Reg for the illness that is causing him to feel so weak at the moment it has been my pleasure to bring about a swift resolution for the family in this uncertain time so that they have the reassurance of knowing that funds are available should he need professional care in the future. He can also be reassured that if he does embark upon immunotherapy or other treatment that isn’t available on the NHS, funds will be available from the defendant to meet any such treatment."


Reg's daughter writes:

"Laura's handling of my father's case has been excellent. She gave us every confidence in her from the moment of the first telephone conversation through to the conclusion of a successful claim and beyond. The care and compassion she has shown to my parents through the most difficult time of their lives has been incredible. Friendly, warm and professional throughout, Laura expedited Dad's case against his former employer to a successful conclusion within 5 months. Giving my parents peace of mind that they are financially secure and Dad can pursue further treatment options if he wishes, which will be funded by the former employer. Laura explained everything to us as a family and made the process as simple as it could possibly be. She held our hands (figuratively), explaining, guiding and answering all of our questions, communication throughout was superb. The excellent support and service provided by Laura and her team wasn't held up or interrupted in any way, even through the difficult months of the Covid-19 Lockdown. Laura has been a pleasure to deal with. We will be forever grateful that Laura agreed to take on my father's case. We could not have been in safer hands."

For more information about how the Asbestos and Mesothelioma Claims team can help you when you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease contact them by email on