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Written on 10th January 2022 by

Employment history

Carlo* left school at the age of 16 and went to work for a ship building company in Southampton undertaking an apprenticeship in metalwork. During his apprenticeship, he worked in the main yard and then in various workshops. He also worked in many boiler rooms which were often small spaces where boilers were lagged with asbestos. Carlo would work with tradesmen fitting brackets to pipes. In order to fit these brackets, asbestos lagging had to be removed and the bracket then had to be welded to the pipe. Carlo regularly worked in engine rooms which were extremely dusty. He was provided with one set of overalls by his employer and these were laundered at the end of every week. The asbestos dust generally transferred onto him, his hair and to the clothes he was wearing underneath his overalls.

Medical history leading to diagnosis

Carlo began feeling unwell with stomach pains in February 2021, this went on for a few weeks and even after appointments with his GP, he was unable to get to the bottom of the issue. Carlo then began feeling breathless in March 2021; he called 111 and eventually had a chest x-ray which showed that he had fluid on his lungs. He was sent to A&E and was admitted on the same day. He had the fluid from his lungs drained and was discharged after a week in hospital.

Just after the Easter weekend Carlo started having pain on the opposite side of his body. He called 111 and an ambulance was sent to his home. There was some concern surrounding the fluid on his lungs and he was taken into hospital for a CT scan and chest x-ray. When in hospital, it was mentioned that Carlo may have cancer but he was not told about mesothelioma specifically. Pleural biopsies were taken and he was later asked if he had been exposed to asbestos. Carlo was diagnosed with the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma in April 2021.

Settlement

Laura was instructed in May 2021 shortly after Carlo’s diagnosis and promptly took a witness statement. Given the fact that Carlo had not long left working for his employer, he was able to provide us with a spreadsheet of witnesses whom he worked with over the many years he was employed and Laura began contacting these individuals. She sent a letter of claim to the Defendant along with Carlo’s HMRC employment schedule and his witness statement. She requested an interim payment once liability had been admitted and Carlo was in the process of looking into his treatment options. Immunotherapy was not available on the NHS for Carlo and it was therefore extremely important for Laura to include this in his settlement. He began immunotherapy after receiving his interim payments totalling £100,000.00. Laura disclosed Carlo’s schedule of loss and negotiations began. Carlo was 62 years old when diagnosed with mesothelioma and therefore had a life expectancy of another 23.8 years but for mesothelioma. Carlo was in fact still working at the time of his diagnosis. His lost years claim was consequently a substantial amount. Laura successfully settled Carlo’s claim for £435,000.00 in December 2021 with an indemnity for future immunotherapy costs without the need to court issue proceedings.

Laura says “It was a privilege to represent Carlo; to help him, his wife and his son have the security of knowing that the Defendants will continue funding his immunotherapy. I hope he is doing well with his treatment and wish him all the best. It was a pleasure to act for him.”

For more information about how the mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team can help you or your loved ones after a diagnosis of an asbestos related disease, please contact the team by email on idclaims@boyesturner.com or by telephone on 0118 952 7199.

*names anonymised for client confidentiality