Our expert mesothelioma and asbestos claims solicitors have secured a second damages award and further provisional damages order for a former labourer after the post-settlement deterioration of his asbestos-related disease.
First settlement for 13% respiratory disability
The team first acted for our client, Andy, when he was diagnosed with asbestos-related diffuse pleural thickening causing a 13% respiratory disability.
Andy had worked for a builder’s merchants, Atlas Trading Company (Builders, Ironmongers & Plumbers Merchants) Limited, as a 14 to 16 year-old schoolboy. Whilst working for the company he was exposed to asbestos dust when handling, stacking, loading, unloading and cutting asbestos sheets using a circular saw. When he developed asbestos-related diffuse pleural thickening in later life as a result of this exposure, the team helped him pursue a claim against Atlas Trading. The claim was settled on a provisional damages basis, preserving his right to return to Court for further damages if he suffered a deterioration to his asbestos-related diffuse pleural thickening resulting in respiratory disability of 25% or more. The settlement order also allowed Andy to come back to court should he go on to develop mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer or asbestosis.
Second settlement after deterioration under initial provisional damages award
Unfortunately, less than six months after his settlement, Andy’s health began to deteriorate and he experienced increasing breathlessness and fatigue. He suffered with a left pleural effusion and underwent a VATs procedure which identified a benign pleuritis. This led to pleural thickening on the left side in addition to his existing, right-sided pleural thickening.
Andy returned to Boyes Turner and asked our expert mesothelioma and asbestos claims team to investigate whether his condition had deteriorated beyond the required 25% which would allow him to return to Court for further compensation. We obtained expert medical evidence from a specialist in asbestos-related respiratory diseases. He considered that Andy’s condition had deteriorated significantly since his provisional damages settlement and assessed that he had 35% respiratory disability attributable to his asbestos-related pleural thickening.
We put the new claim to the defendant company but they relied on their own medical expert’s assessment of Andy’s deterioration at 15% to deny that Andy had fulfilled the disability criteria to return to court for further damages. We pursued the claim on the basis that the significant deterioration in Andy’s condition was evidenced by his further surgery, reduced mobility and need for additional care.
The defendant company maintained its denial until a week before the new claim was due for trial, when we achieved a settlement of the additional claim for £25,000. The new settlement was again concluded on a provisional damages basis to protect Andy’s right to further compensation should he develop mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer or asbestosis.
The importance of provisional damages awards in asbestos-related disease claims
Andy’s case is a clear example of why provisional damages settlements play such an important role in asbestos-related disease claims. If the original settlement had been made on a full and final rather than provisional damages basis, Andy would have been under-compensated for his injury.
Our asbestos disease specialists are highly experienced in negotiating provisional and full and final settlement awards for our clients.
If you or a loved one are suffering from asbestos-related disease and would like to find out more about making a claim, contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.