Boyes Turner’s asbestos-related disease specialists have secured a settlement and provisional damages order for a former lagger who suffered lung cancer after exposure to asbestos.
Tony had worked for Cammell Laird and Company (S&C Limited) and Cammell Laird (Ship Repairers) Ltd in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and his story is, unfortunately, very familiar. He was required to mix up powdered asbestos, known as magnesium silicate, and composite magnesium, tipping the asbestos power into large tubs, adding water to it, mixing it together and then loading the paste into smaller buckets for the laggers. He cut Caposite, Navy Board and Calcium Silicate. He remembered using a product called “Bulldog” which was a powdered, fireproof asbestos.
Between 1978/79 and 1999/2000 he was employed as a lagger by a thermal insulating company in Merseyside where he continued to use “Bulldog”. He stripped asbestos from pipes and boilers into the late 1980s and early 1990s, using the ineffective protective equipment that his employer provided.
Tony developed lung cancer. After coughing up small amounts of blood in his sputum, a CT scan revealed a spot in his left lung. He had repeat CT scans every 3 months, and then underwent a lobectomy, three years after his initial symptoms. He instructed Boyes Turner to investigate a claim after his lung cancer diagnosis. We obtained medical evidence which showed that he had suffered from a primary adenocarcinoma, which was removed during the lobectomy operation. The lobectomy was successful, but he was left with a residual 10% respiratory disability. There is a small risk that he will develop mesothelioma in the future, a second asbestos-related lung cancer, or that his previous lung cancer will return. He also has an increased risk of contracting asbestosis and pleural thickening.
Given the small but accepted risk of further life-threatening illness from his asbestos exposure, it was important to secure a provisional damages award for Tony. This would provide him with his settlement money now whilst protecting his right to be compensated further if he goes on to develop a new asbestos-related condition, such as mesothelioma, or if his lung cancer returns. A provisional damages award allows a claimant to come back to Court to claim further damages should any of the specified conditions arise which were foreseen as risks at the time of settlement.
Boyes Turner pursued the claim against all the defendant companies. One of the insurers though required Tony to prove that he had both stripped asbestos and reinsulated on the contracts on which he had worked for the company. We obtained supportive statements from other employees who confirmed that this was process was common place and we were able to satisfy the insurers as to their liability.
Settlement negotiations were complex and lengthy as there were multiple defendant insurers in addition to the Financial Services Scheme involved in the claim. To protect Tony’s right to bring his claim, we issued protective proceedings within the court’s limitation deadline time limits. Settlement was finally agreed which provided Tony with damages for his injury to date, and the protection of a provisional damages award in the event that his lung cancer returns or he develops further asbestos-related disease.
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 on 0800 884 0718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial discussion.