We were instructed by Mr. F following his diagnosis of pleural plaques and bilateral diffuse pleural thickening.
Exposure to asbestos dust
Mr. F had worked for both Bovis Construction Ltd and J.M. Jones & Sons Ltd as a quantity surveyor, working on construction sites at various locations throughout the South East of England. Whilst present on these constructions sites Mr. F was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres in the air caused by other members of the workforce cutting asbestolux sheeting with hand saws and circular saws before installing them into ceilings, walls, plant rooms and around duct casings. He was also in the presence of plasterers mixing artex with water and applying it to ceilings and present when asbestos waste materials were being swept up and disposed of. All of these processes generated significant quantities of asbestos dust in his working environment.
During the course of his employment, Mr. F was not provided with any warnings, training or information in relation to the dangers associated with exposure to asbestos nor was he provided with any personal protective or respiratory equipment or given any advice or steps to be taken to minimise his exposure to asbestos.
Making a pleural thickening claim
We visited Mr. F and took a full and detailed witness statement from him in connection with his asbestos exposure history. We also contacted a number of witnesses with whom Mr. F had worked for both defendants and took full and detailed witness statements from them which supported Mr. F’s history of asbestos exposure.
We also assisted Mr. F with applying for government benefits and he was successful in obtaining a lump sum payment under the Pneumoconiosis (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979.
Supportive medical evidence was obtained by us from a consultant thoracic radiologist and consultant respiratory physician which confirmed that Mr F was suffering from a 20% respiratory disability directly as a result of his asbestos exposure.
One of the defendants was a dissolved company and it was necessary to restore the Company to the Companies Register to enable legal proceedings to be issued.
On receipt of the supportive medical evidence, an offer to settle was made to the defendants' insurers but this was ignored and we then instructed a barrister to draft court proceedings. Before service of those proceedings, we advised the defendants’ insurers that we were intending to issue court proceedings against the two companies. This resulted in swift negotiations and a number of offers were made and rejected. The parties were eventually able to resolve the matter on an acceptable basis for the gross sum of £27,500.
In addition to his damages, Mr. F importantly achieved terms of settlement which included the provision for him to be able to re-open his case and claim further compensation from the defendant companies in the event that he was unfortunate enough to develop mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis or if there was a significant deterioration in his respiratory disability associated with his diffuse bilateral pleural thickening.
The claim was concluded within 17 months of our instruction.
Mr. F commented,
“I was very satisfied with the thorough and complete service and speedy response I received to my letters and emails from commencement to the conclusion of the case.”