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Written on 16th February 2022 by Melloney Harbutt

In December 2020, Melloney Harbutt, Senior Associate Solicitor in Boyes Turner’s specialist mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team, was instructed by the family of a gentleman who had sadly died from mesothelioma in November 2020. 

John* had been exposed to asbestos whilst working for CS Wiggins & Sons as a carpenter between 1966/7 and 1979/80.

He worked on many council properties and there was a lot of fireproofing work undertaken using asbestos sheets.  John cut and fixed the asbestos sheets to undertake this fireproofing.

The carpenters also used asbestos cement boards for soffits and fascias around the properties and he measured and cut the boards to size.

He was exposed to asbestos dust as a result and first became unwell in the summer of 2018 when he noticed that he had rattly breathing and a cough.  A CT scan eventually revealed that he had a large pleural effusion suspicious for mesothelioma and that diagnosis was confirmed following a biopsy in October 2018.

He underwent chemotherapy which resulted in stable disease but the disease progressed in 2019 and he started the CONFIRM clinical trial in January 2020.  Sadly, he was referred to the palliative care team in June 2020 and deteriorated, sadly dying in hospital in November 2020.

A post-mortem took place following his death which confirmed the cause of death as pleural malignant mesothelioma and the Inquest recorded his death as an industrial disease.

His family instructed Melloney to investigate the claim and Melloney set about tracing witnesses so as to obtain witness evidence, given that we were not instructed during John’s lifetime and had no detailed evidence as to his asbestos exposure.  Having dealt with a claim against CS Wiggins & Sons before, Melloney was able to contact previous witnesses who had assisted this claim and was able to obtain the evidence needed to confirm how John had been exposed to asbestos.  Melloney therefore approached the insurers for CS Wiggins and obtained John’s medical records and a supportive medical report from a medical expert.

Whilst no formal response on liability was provided, a Schedule of Loss was prepared and negotiations ensued for the six-figure settlement of the claim, on behalf of John’s estate.

John’s family were delighted with the settlement, feeling that justice had been done and that John would be proud of what they had achieved. 

“We would like to thank you and your team for getting us there.  You have been wonderful throughout the whole process and we really appreciate everything you have done on our behalf”.

Melloney comments: “It was a pleasure to have assisted John’s daughter and family in bringing this claim on behalf of his estate. It was a shame that I never got to meet John but I am pleased that the family can now celebrate his life and his memory in a positive way, the claim having successfully concluded.”

*names have been changed

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 or by telephone on 0118 952 7199.