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Written by Laura Magson

Laura acted for Charles* who started to suffer from symptoms of mesothelioma in November 2018. He attended A&E at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital following which he had several tests including chest x-rays, CT scans and lung function tests. He had experienced persistent chest pain for a number of weeks although he had no breathing difficulties. After various investigations including a biopsy, he was sadly diagnosed with sarcomatoid (desmoplaspic) mesothelioma in early 2019.

He underwent chemotherapy (Carboplatin and Pemetrexed). After he had two cycles of chemotherapy, he agreed to go into the MARS2 trial. There were two options - surgery (with chemotherapy) or no surgery (also with chemotherapy). He was selected for chemotherapy only and went on to have four further cycles of chemotherapy with various side effects including vertigo, dizziness, vomiting and confusion. He also had some radiotherapy to the ribs. Charles contacted Laura in the summer of 2020 some 18 months after he first suffered symptoms.

Understandably, he had wanted to concentrate on his treatment. By the time that he made contact, he was sadly experiencing intense pain and was being cared for full time by his wife at home.

Asbestos Exposure

Charles was very clear about where he was exposed to asbestos. He left school at the age of 15 and went to work as an apprentice electrician for a company known as Lee Beesley & Company in 1958. He worked for Beesley for six days a week in order to install new lighting and control boards as well as removing old ones. During this process, he drilled into boards, walls and ceilings where asbestos was often present. He also worked alongside carpenters who cut asbestos sheets. He worked in many old boiler houses during his time as an electrician. He worked close by to laggers who were mixing compound asbestos close by.

No Court Proceedings Needed

Laura notified the claim to the Insurers for Lee Beesley who dealt with the claim throughout. She obtained supportive medical evidence which highlighted the really severe symptoms that Charles had during his illness and drew up the Schedule of Loss which set out Charles' best financial case. Very sadly Charles passed away in October 2020, but Laura recommended a suitable offer which the family put forward to the defendant. The defendant's offered £190,000 gross which Laura advised was too low. The case settled for £197,000 gross and included an amount for the local hospice who provided supportive telephone calls during the final days. It was really important to Charles that he was cared for by his wife at home throughout. Charles' wife had been a carer previously and although physically and mentally exhausted by the effects of this tragic illness, was able to give Charles the dignity he was so keen to preserve by staying in the family home.

Laura said "this was really one of the most tragic cases I have ever had to deal with. Charles suffered unbearable pain for two years despite having chemotherapy. He also suffered some serious side effects due to the chemotherapy. There is no amount of money that can compensate the family for the loss of their husband, father and grandfather, but I am pleased that the case was brought to a swift resolution within six months from start to finish. It was incredible that Charles' wife and wider family were able to provide the consistent relentless support and care that they did during the many months that Charles suffered. It really was humbling to be just a small part of their lives for a short time".

Charles' son said "I would just like to thank you for all your hard work, you have been brilliant. Not just because of the great settlment amount but you have always responded quickly, answered all our questions simply and honestly, and been a genuine help and support throughout. It has been great knowing that during such hard times we have such a fantastic solicitor acting for us."

*name changed for client confidentiality