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Written by Laura Magson

Laura was contacted by Les* in late December 2020 following a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Symptoms began in the spring with back pain and Les contacted his GP several times, but a cause could not be found. The pain became excruciating later that year in the autumn. He then underwent investigations including CT scans and bronchoscopy. Biopsies showed Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma and although Les was 92 years old at the time of diagnosis, he was very fit and healthy.

Asbestos Exposure

In October 2020 when he was informed that he was suffering from Mesothelioma by a doctor, he was asked if he had come into contact with asbestos and he said he had not been. He had long since retired, more than 30 years ago, and he had worked for Kodak as a splicer man for many years in what he had thought was a clean environment. However, when he began to think further about his earlier years at Kodak in the 1960s, he recalled that he worked as a labourer and a cleaner. He went into the plant room where there were machines that were lagged with asbestos. Laura contacted witnesses who were able to provide further information about Kodak. Les recalled working the plant rooms in Tracks 1, 3 and 4 on rotating shifts and he often worked night shifts. He spent some time in the boiler rooms in Track 4 and Track 5. He believed that the asbestos lagging had been put on previously, he also recalled that one of the buildings at Kodak was demolished when he was there.

Laura was contacted in December 2020. Les had some radiotherapy, but his medical team did not consider that Les would benefit from chemotherapy or immunotherapy and it was decided that he would be best supported with palliative care. Laura promptly notified the claim to Kodak’s insurers, obtained a medical report from medico legal expert to support the claim. Financial documents were gathered so that Laura could put forward the best financial case to the defendants as quickly as possible. The defendants agreed to an interim payment within three months and said that although they would not admit liability, they had instructions “off the record” to settle the claim. On Laura’s advice, Les made an offer of six figures to the defendants. The defendants counter offered £2,500 less which Les was happy to accept.

Les was delighted that the case was settled within four months without the need to instigate Court proceedings. Whilst no financial award is sufficient to compensate Les for his deteriorating health and ultimately an illness caused by negligent exposure to asbestos which could have been prevented, he and his family are glad that the case has been resolved swiftly. He says “Laura was very compassionate considering our circumstances and so helpful..." The family can now focus on their remaining time together to make happy memories.

*Clients name has been changed to protect their anonymity

For more information about how the mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team can help you or your loved ones after diagnosis of an asbestos related disease, please contact the team by email on or by telephone on 0118 952 7199.