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Written by Laura Magson

Boyes Turner were instructed by Mark* after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer.

Exposure to asbestos

Mark confirmed that he was exposed to asbestos dust while working for F W Sears and Sons Limited, who were a construction company in Hemel Hempstead.

He worked there for approximately a year, from 1974 to 1975, as an apprentice bricklayer. He did a lot of work on school renovations and refurbishments of office blocks. He also worked on extensions of residential properties.

While he did not work with asbestos containing materials himself, he worked next to carpenters who used asbestos containing insulation sheets known as Asbestolux.

The carpenters used to cut the Asbestolux sheets to size and they were used for soffits and guttering. They used handsaws and skill saws and this created dust, which built up throughout the day. Mark and his fellow workers could not avoid breathing it in. They were given no protection and were not warned of the dangers of asbestos dust. He also sometimes worked in boiler houses, which contained pipes that were lagged with asbestos. The lagging was often in a poor condition and deteriorating and would sometimes get disturbed as everyone went about their jobs.

Application to the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment scheme

We investigated F W Sears and Sons Limited and ascertained that they had long since been dissolved.

Unfortunately, we were unable to trace any employers’ liability insurance that they may have had while Mark worked there. This is a common problem in these types of cases, where the asbestos exposure usually took place many years ago.

Even though employers’ liability insurance was made mandatory in 1972, there was no central database of insurance policies at this time. This means that it is often not possible to trace any insurance policy that may have been in place at the time. We therefore made an application under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme, which was put in place to compensate victims of mesothelioma who were negligently exposed to asbestos by uninsured employers.

We took a detailed statement from Mark which described his asbestos exposure at F W Sears and Sons Limited and assisted him in completing the application form.

The application was successful and Mark was awarded £186,454 gross compensation by the administrators of the scheme.


Whilst no amount of money can make up for Mark’s diagnosis with such a terrible illness, we were pleased to assist him and his family at such a difficult time.

Mark says “I am delighted that the legal process was successfully concluded so swiftly and I am really grateful to both Boyes Turner and also the asbestos support group HASAG who assisted me with applications for benefits.

Laura and Martin made this process very easy at such a difficult time. We appreciate their accuracy and honesty and were impressed with the rapid outcome."

*Client’s name changed for confidentiality.

For more information about how the mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team can help you or your loved ones after diagnosis with an asbestos related disease, please contact the team by email on