Skip to main content

Contact us to arrange your
FREE initial consultation

Call me back Email us

Written on 20th June 2023 by Laura Magson

Medical history

Melvin* started feeling rather unwell and became gradually breathless in November 2021. He was referred to the hospital for a chest x-ray and fluid was discovered on the lining of his lung. Investigations revealed a very large pleural effusion which was drained in November 2021, and he returned to hospital a couple of weeks later as pain has worsened. A biopsy was taken, and Melvin was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the end of November 2021. Melvin deteriorated rapidly and went from being a fit and active 65-year-old man to being in a wheelchair in a matter of weeks. He was admitted to a hospice in January 2022 and very sadly died two days after being in the hospice.


Melvin’s son Jason resided in New Zealand and flew back to see his father in December 2021. Unfortunately, this was in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and Jason sadly tested positive for COVID in January and had to delay his return by ten days. Jason went back home and was very sadly in monitored isolation when his father passed away. Joanne and Melvin did manage to call Jason on the day Melvin passed away. This was clearly a very distressing time for all. Jason returned to the UK in March, he arrived the day before Melvin’s funeral and had to leave the day after.

Employment history

Melvin worked for a telecommunications company and completed an apprenticeship as a trainee technician in the 1970s. Melvin worked at several telephone exchanges which contained asbestos and this asbestos was disturbed during the workday. Maintenance work was regularly completed to the work equipment containing asbestos during the working day and the asbestos was therefore disturbed. Melvin worked for the telecommunications company for 11-12 years and precautions were not taken by his employer during his employment.

Melvin also recalled working for another company in the 1970’s during his school holidays with his father. He took out dumbwaiters and although he could be sure, he believed the dumbwaiters contained asbestos. No further information was given on this job.

The claim

Laura was instructed by Joanne* in February 2022 following the very sad death of her husband. Unfortunately, due to the rapid deterioration of Melvin’s health, Laura was not instructed prior to his passing and she therefore did not have a lifetime witness statement from Melvin himself. Prior to Melvin passing, he did speak to HASAG who are a registered charity dedicated to supporting those affected by mesothelioma, asbestosis or any other asbestos-related conditions. HASAG assisted Melvin in completing benefits forms and this was the only lifetime evidence Laura had from Melvin.

Laura contacted some of Melvin’s colleagues and other individuals who worked at the same telephone exchanges as Melvin to gather witness evidence. One particular witness said that he himself played football with bags of asbestos and they were kicked around the workplace whilst working at the telecommunications company. Employees should clearly have been warned about the dangers of asbestos in the 1970’s.  After gathering medical evidence, witness evidence and evidence of special damages, Laura valued the claim. The claim settled in March 2023 for £165,000 gross after receiving a part 36 offer from the defendant insurers.

*Names anonymised for confidentiality

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