I was instructed by Stephen shortly after his diagnosis of mesothelioma. Stephen had been suffering with back pain and had gone to his doctors for a check-up. Following an abnormal chest x-ray he was investigated further and had a biopsy undertaken where he was informed he had thickening on his lungs.
Following his biopsy, Stephen was sadly diagnosed with mesothelioma. He has undergone chemotherapy and is now receiving palliative care.
Stephen’s exposure to asbestos was slightly unusual as he described exposure in much later periods than we might normally expect to see.
Stephen worked for his father’s company Newberry Builders between 1983/84 and 1995. Whilst working with his father Stephen alleged he was exposed to asbestos dust when cutting asbestolux sheets. His father had some asbestolux sheets in his garage which he used and he would also use asbestolux which was already in situ. Stephen’s father reused a lot of materials in an effort to save costs. Therefore, if he was putting in an extension he would use existing asbestos soffits from the rear of the house for the front of the extension so that all of the front soffits were the same. The back soffits would then be replaced. This meant that Stephen would be removing and cutting existing asbestolux soffits from properties.
Stephen also described knocking down and breaking up asbestos corrugated roofing and working removing asbestos lagging on very large houses.
Stephen alleged that he was exposed to heavy amounts of asbestos dust whilst working for his father’s company.
Stephen further alleged exposure to asbestos dust when working for V & M Day Limited from 1995 to 2008. As he had described with his father’s company, Stephen alleged that with V & M Day Limited he would often reuse existing asbestos materials such as soffits and guttering when extensions were put in. Stephen described exposure to asbestos dust as a result of this work.
Following my instructions I obtained expert medical evidence from a consultant respiratory physician with an expertise in asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma. He confirmed that Stephen’s exposure to asbestos dust with V & M Day Limited and Newberry Builders was likely to have caused his mesothelioma.
Claims were submitted to the insurers for both companies and although no formal admission of liability was made, a compensation settlement of £285,000 was agreed within 11 months of Stephen’s instructions. Stephen also received a £50,000 interim payment on account of his compensation within 9 months of his instructions.
I also assisted Stephen in making applications for government benefits including Pneumoconiosis Etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and Personal Independence Payments.
Stephen is a father of five and he and his wife Lorraine have 8 grandchildren. Stephen intends to take his grandchildren on holiday to enjoy some of his compensation payment. Stephen is also a keen fisherman. Although he finds that he is now unable to fish himself, he was able to use some of his compensation money to purchase a car to hold his son’s fishing gear, so that he can still attend when they fish.
I was very pleased to reach such a substantial and swift settlement on behalf of Stephen and his family.