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Boyes Turner’s mesothelioma and asbestos claims solicitors were instructed by Ann* following the sad death of her husband, Edward*, from mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer. Edward had been diagnosed with mesothelioma after a CT scan and had died just two months later. 

As we were instructed after Edward’s death, we were not able to take a statement from him setting out his employment history. However, Ann was able to tell us that her husband had been exposed to asbestos dust while working for J T Meredith & Co Limited, a heating engineering company based in Lewisham, from 1965 to 1968. His work had involved stripping asbestos from boilers and pipework and, in their conversations following his diagnosis, Edward had told Ann that his work at J T Meredith & Co must have been the cause of his disease. 

Ann remembered the names of some of the people that Edward used to work with. We made further investigations and were able to track down one of his former colleagues.  He kindly offered to assist and we took a statement from him which detailed the work that he and Edward did together when they were at J T Meredith & Co. He advised that they used to rip out old pipework and boilers and then installed new ones. Before they could rip out the old boilers and pipework they had to remove the asbestos lagging. They did this by hacking it off with hammers and chisels, which generated thick clouds of asbestos dust. 

When they were installing the new pipework, laggers worked alongside them. They tipped bags of asbestos powder into big tubs, which caused dust to rise and fill the air with clouds. They then mixed it up with water and applied it to the new pipework. The boiler rooms were often underground with no windows and no ventilation. They were not provided with masks and were not warned of the dangers of asbestos.

We investigated J T Meredith & Co and ascertained that they had long since been dissolved. We were unable to trace any employers’ liability insurance that they may have had whilst Edward worked there. This is a common problem in asbestos injury cases such as this, where the asbestos exposure took place in the 1960s or before. Employers’ liability insurance was not mandatory until 1972. Even if there was insurance in place, there was no central database of insurance policies at that time, which means that it is not always possible to trace the relevant insurance company.  

As we could not pursue the employer as the defendant, we made an application under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme which was set up to compensate victims of mesothelioma who were negligently exposed to asbestos by uninsured employers. 

Our application was successful and Ann was awarded compensation by the administrators of the scheme.

Whilst no amount of money could adequately compensate Ann for her husband’s untimely death, we were very pleased that we could assist Ann at this difficult time.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, we may be able to help.  Contact us by email for a free initial discussion. 

*Names changed for client confidentiality