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Written on 26th March 2020

Mesothelioma specialist, Laura Magson, acted for Michael, a 59 year old man who was living in Spain with his wife, Sarah, at the time of his diagnosis. He was awaiting surgery when he contacted Boyes Turner and, as his treatment and recovery were expected to be difficult, Laura made immediate arrangements to fly out to visit him at his home in Spain and take a witness statement from him about his employment history.

He underwent pleuropneumonectomy, a radical surgery procedure involving the removal of one lung, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He needed considerable care from his wife, who had already experienced her father’s death from mesothelioma and, sadly, was fully aware of how the disease would progress. They attended many hospital appointments, often needing to pay for a translator to accompany them.

Boyes Turner’s lawyers investigated Michael’s claim. He recalled being exposed to asbestos whilst working as an electrician’s mate for a firm in Essex, Docherty and Baker, whilst fixing up the lighting in a boiler house within a secondary school. He remembered clambering over the pipework which was lagged with asbestos, which would have released asbestos fibres into the atmosphere. Docherty and Baker were no longer in existence and we were unable to trace their employer’s liability insurers. However, Michael also recalled exposure with a second company, K&H Electrical and Welding Limited. K&H had contracts to refurbish private hospitals and he had worked alongside builders who were ripping out partitions, ceilings, electrics, ducting and air conditioning units which he thought would have contained asbestos materials. K&H were dissolved but despite the employer’s liability tracing office initially revealing a negative result, we managed eventually to trace the insurers and notified them of the claim, and they admitted liability. Sadly, Michael died at this time and Sarah took over the claim on his behalf.

As K&H Electrical were no longer trading, we restored them to the Company Register so that proceedings could be issued. The financial valuation of the claim was complicated; Sarah and Michael had sold their house in the UK and invested their money in a business, Corky’s Pennyfarthing Bar.  Sarah and Michael had both worked in the bar full time until Michael became unwell. The bar had only been trading for a year, so it was difficult to value the future profits. Boyes Turner’s lawyers had to quantify the loss of Michael’s services to the business, which Sarah had passed to a colleague to run after she struggled to manage the business alone after Michael’s death. We took statements from their accountant and the other employees and gathered information from bank statements and other financial documents. Meanwhile, Sarah moved back to the UK as she found living in Spain close to the bar without Michael too painful.

The claim settled at £225,000 without the need for a court hearing.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos related disease, we may be able to help. Contact us on 0800 884 0718 or email for a free initial discussion.