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Boyes Turner’s specialist mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team has recently settled a case for the family of an employee of Benham & Sons Limited who was exposed to asbestos during the course of his employment.

Exposure to Asbestos

Clive* was diagnosed with pleural thickening and asbestosis towards the end of 2019 following a nasty chest infection, pneumonia and sepsis.
He had worked for Benham & Sons from 1951 to 1956 as a fitter’s mate assembling ovens and securing insulation elements to them ready for shipment. He was exposed to asbestos as a result.

Part of this process included fitting sheets of asbestos inside the oven by cutting them to size using a handsaw and bench. This caused dust and fibres to be released into the air.

Once cut to size, Clive would fit the sheets inside the oven by drilling and fixing them in place using asbestos rope. The asbestos rope would also produce dust when cut to size. Clive worked with asbestos every day through his time at Benham & Sons.

As you might expect from the 1950s, Clive was never provided with any overalls or other protective equipment. No washing facilities were provided and his clothes were covered with asbestos dust.

The claim

The claim was initiated and medical evidence was gathered.

The independent medical expert supported a finding of pleural thickening suggestive of exposure to asbestos. He also supported that Clive had fibrosis, which the medical expert indicated would be considered to be asbestosis if the court found that his asbestos exposure had met the necessary threshold. Clive was also noted to be suffering from other health problems which reduced his life expectancy.

Unfortunately Clive passed away, unrelated to his asbestos exposure, part way through the litigation and the claim was continued by his daughter. Melloney Harbutt, a senior associate solicitor in the mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team, was able to work alongside Boyes Turner’s wealth protection department in helping Clive’s daughter through the next steps and in applying for the necessary grant of probate, to enable the claim to progress.

Negotiations then took place and a satisfactory settlement proposal was received, within 8 months of first instruction, which Clive’s daughter was only happy to accept to conclude matters, her father’s dying wish having been for her to finish what he had started. We are delighted to have assisted with this.

Benham & Sons Limited is a defunct company, as were the insurers for the period of Clive’s employment. However the compensation was paid by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, enabling Clive, and subsequently his daughter, to pursue the claim.

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

* name changed for anonymity