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Prior to his diagnosis of mesothelioma, Derek was a fit and healthy 75 year old man. All of a sudden, he found that he struggled to walk up hill and got out of breath. He underwent investigations with his local hospital that discovered that he had fluid in his pleural cavity. He underwent an operation to drain the pleural fluid and put medical grade talcum powder in the cavity to stop the re-accumulation of the pleural fluid. At this time, a biopsy was also undertaken following which he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Derek made the decision not to undergo any chemotherapy or other form of intervention and received palliative care through his local hospital and hospice.

Making a mesothelioma claim

We were instructed two months after Derek’s diagnosis of mesothelioma. This was four months after his symptoms first began.

We immediately visited Derek at his home to take details from him about the circumstances of his exposure to asbestos dust. Derek had a long career as a Carpenter/joiner for a number of major contractors. He first worked for as a carpenter/joiner in 1958 when he was 15 years old. He began an apprenticeship when he turned 16 years old.

Significant asbestos exposure

Derek described significant exposure to asbestos dust whilst undertaking construction work for a number of housing estates. He described that he undertook a large amount of roofing work which involved cutting and fitting asbestos insulation board as soffits for houses. He was aware that the asbestos insulation board he was working with was supplied by Turner & Newall.

Derek undertook first fix and second fix work on the housing construction. He also used asbestos insulation boards on the soffits of the stairs and the backs of the doors to airing cupboards and electrical cupboards. Some of the doors which he hung were asbestos fire doors which he would cut to size to fit.

Derek also remembered other trades using a form of spray insulation for the soffits between buildings which they would spray on to the timber structures as a fireproofing mechanism for joins between houses or roofs.

Derek went on to work in management on construction sites as a Project Manager and a Contracts Manager.

Following our instructions we investigated the companies where Derek described exposure to asbestos dust. One company he worked for until the early 1960s did not appear on his HM Revenue & Customs Employment History Schedule. We were able to locate Employers Liability Insurance with this company up until the end of 1959 and together with an extract from his college records were able to obtain an admission of liability within 2 months of the Letter of Claim including an interim payment of £50,000.00.

Settling compensation claim

Evidence was obtained from an expert Respiratory Physician in mesothelioma claims and Derek’s claim was settled for £205,000.

Derek’s settlement included payment to the Hospice of St Francis who was involved in his care.

Derek’s claim was settled within 8 months of his instructions and within one year from when he had first developed symptoms of his mesothelioma. Derek was pleased to settle his claim with money provided for his ongoing care and assistance.

To find out if the asbestos and mesothelioma team can help you make a mesothelioma compensation claim contact the team by email at