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Our expert asbestos claims team were instructed in October 2014 by Jennifer and Frank, the children of a former maintenance fitter who had sadly died from mesothelioma in July 2013.

Exposure to asbestos

Jennifer and Frank knew that their father had worked for Newall Engineering from the mid 1960s until the early 1980s at their premises in Peterborough. Their father had told them that the pipe work in the factory was covered in asbestos lagging and that one of his jobs was to keep central heating going which often involved the repair and modification of pipe work meaning that on occasions he had to remove asbestos lagging from the pipes to do the repair works. Neither Jennifer nor Frank thought that their father had been provided with any breathing protection. 

Making a claim

We were able to trace Newall Engineering Company Limited which was a dissolved company, and had changed name prior to dissolution, to XNEC Limited. As the company was no longer trading it was necessary to trace the company’s former employers liability insurers from the time when Jennifer and Frank’s father had worked there in order to direct the claim to them. After some further searches we were able to identify that there had been two insurers on cover during the relevant period, namely Chester Street and Zurich.

A letter of claim was sent to the insurers and they requested witness evidence in support of the claim.

We thought that the claim would be stronger if witness evidence from men who had worked with the deceased could be put forward and therefore we conducted a witness appeal in the Peterborough Telegraph. We had an overwhelming response and spoke to a number of men who had worked at the company. They were able to provide witness statements in support of the deceased’s exposure to asbestos whilst working for the company.

Once we had the supportive evidence it was sent to the defendant insurers and I set about obtaining medical evidence in support of the claim. 

The medical expert confirmed that Jennifer and Frank’s father had developed and died at the age of 85 from malignant mesothelioma presenting only 7/8 months earlier with symptoms of a cough and breathlessness. The expert was of the opinion that mesothelioma had been caused by the deceased’s exposure to asbestos at Newell Engineering. The expert also considered that if the deceased had not developed the mesothelioma from which he died, he would have lived for a further 3.5 years as, whilst he was 85 years old, he was a very fit, healthy and independent gentlemen before he developed mesothelioma.

The medical evidence was served on the defendant’s Insurers and we then considered the value of the claim and advised Jennifer and Frank to put forward an offer of settlement to the insurers in the hope that we could negotiate settlement of the claim out of court.  After some negotiation the defendant insurers offered £72,000 in full and final settlement of the claim which Jennifer and Frank accepted.

The claim settled within seventeen months of instruction and without the need for Court proceedings to be intimated.