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Written by Laura Magson

Boyes Turner’s mesothelioma specialists secured a £50,000 interim payment within just two months of instruction for a former carpenter with mesothelioma. The early interim payment allowed our already very ill client to benefit from his compensation during his final weeks. After he passed away, the claim settled with a payment of a further £128,000 for his bereaved family.

Living with mesothelioma

John first contacted us in the spring. He had been suffering with mesothelioma of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen) for five months with symptoms including abdominal distention, nausea, weight loss and lethargy. He underwent abdominal drainage and had an ineffective, indwelling drain. He had decided against chemotherapy. He was already very unwell.

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme

Before instructing Boyes Turner he had tried to pursue an application under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme which compensates victims of work-related mesothelioma whose culpable employers are no longer in existence with no traceable employers’ liability insurance. John’s application had been turned down because the scheme’s administrator had found that his employer had no insurance in place at the time of his asbestos exposure.

Exposure to asbestos

John had been employed, first as an apprentice and then as a fully qualified carpenter, from 1959 to 1964. He recalled removing old, damaged, corrugated, asbestos roofs and fitting new, corrugated, asbestos roofs in their place. He also removed and replaced old, damaged, asbestos rain-water products, such as gutters and downpipes. He fitted asbestos boards to timber stud walls, without any warning or protection. Around 1964 he had been required to fit fire barriers in the loft space and on each landing of a large block of flats in Reading, working in a confined space, cutting, drilling and fitting asbestos sheets every day for three months.

Claim for compensation

We immediately set about obtaining John’s medical records and sending a formal letter of claim to the insurers of his former employer. Whilst the company was still ‘active’ at Companies House, it was no longer trading, and we needed to notify the insurers so that they could deal with the claim. Once medical records were received, we commissioned a medical report on John’s condition which confirmed the diagnosis and that his mesothelioma was caused or contributed to by his previous employment.  We served the supportive report on the defendant and obtained an early £50,000 interim payment for John.

We gathered John’s earnings and pension information, valued the claim and by the summer we had made the defendant an offer to settle the claim. John died, sadly, on Action Mesothelioma Day, leaving his bereaved wife and son to continue the claim as executors of his estate. The defendant made a low offer but we were able to negotiate a satisfactory settlement of the claim at a further £128,000 (on top of the £50,000 interim payment already received).

Quick settlement

Whilst no amount of money can compensate John’s family for John’s suffering and their loss, we were pleased to be able to settle their claim so quickly. The settlement also included a repayment to the Duchess of Kent (Sue Ryder) Hospice for the costs of John’s end-of-life care. 

If you or a loved one have suffered from mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, contact us by email at