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Written on 26th March 2020

Boyes Turner’s Specialist Asbestos Related Disease Lawyers were first instructed by Mr Z in 2007 following his diagnosis of pleural thickening.

Mr Z had worked for many employers as a lagger with heavy asbestos exposure as a result of mixing and applying asbestos.

We set about investigating the claim and identified that Mr Z had had exposure to asbestos during employment with:

  • Gill Insulation Limited, latterly known as Tretol Insulation Limited;
  • Thomas Cotton Limited, more recently known as Camrex Corrosion Engineers Marine (Group) Limited;
  • Dick’s Eagle Insulations Limited;
  • Kitsons Insulations Limited, most recently known as Prescot (No. 1) Limited;
  • T H Kenyon & Sons Limited, later known as Tritonsmooth Limited; and finally
  • Young Austen & Young Limited.

As matters progressed, it became clear that in fact Mr Z was not suffering from asbestos related diffuse pleural thickening and that his condition was simply pleural plaques which, unfortunately for Mr Z, by then was no longer a compensatable condition following the House of Lords decision in the cases of Johnston/Rothwell/Grieves.

Following that important ruling, the Ministry of Justice opened a pleural plaques compensation scheme to enable eligible victims to receive a one off payment but unfortunately Mr Z was not eligible as the applicant had to have contacted legal advisers before 17 October 2007 and unfortunately Mr Z contacted us at the end of October 2007 and therefore just missed out on a payment under the scheme.

However, in November 2014, Mr Z contacted us again having been diagnosed with asbestosis. We re-opened his file and re-commenced investigations.

Initially our priority was to establish whether he now had a compensatable condition and indeed we were able to establish that he had a new diagnosis of asbestosis, in addition to the previous pleural plaques.

We contacted the six previously identified Defendants again and asked them to recommence their investigations whilst we gathered medical evidence to support his new diagnosis.

The medical evidence from the independent medical expert confirmed that Mr Z was now suffering with asbestosis causing a respiratory disability of 10% which would increase to 20% within 5 years. There were also future risks associated with developing asbestos related lung cancer and mesothelioma.

As a result, Mr Z sought to settle his claim on a provisional damages basis, so that he could re-open his claim in the future in the event of a malignant diagnosis as a result of asbestos exposure.
 
Progressing matters was difficult with so many Defendant insurers involved but fortunately one insurer took the lead and eventually, after some negotiation, a reasonable settlement was agreed between the parties.

During the negotiations, however, Court proceedings had to be issued to protect Mr Z’s position due to limitation (an individual has 3 years to issue Court proceedings following a compensatable diagnosis).

Settlement terms were agreed during the period between issue and service of proceedings and the settlement terms were incorporated into a Provisional Damages Order, which was approved by the Court.

Mr Z is pleased that his claim finally reached a satisfactory conclusion and that he has the protection of a Provisional Damages Order to enable him to return in the event of a future asbestos related malignancy.

A lot of work was involved in building a successful claim, not least because of the number of Defendants.

Melloney Harbutt of Boyes Turner LLP who dealt with the claim, comments as follows:

“I initially dealt with Mr Z’s claim in 2007 and still remember sitting with him in his home to meet him and discuss his potential claim. It was a shame that we could not originally proceed but I was pleased to have been able to accept Mr Z’s claim when he contacted us again in 2014 with his new diagnosis and of course I am delighted to have brought matters to a successful conclusion for him in 2017”.

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