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Written by Laura Magson

Boyes Turner’s mesothelioma specialists have secured a £158,000 settlement for the family of a former shipyard worker with mesothelioma.

Dennis first began to notice symptoms of being unwell after a chest infection and cough left him unable to play his tuba in the Salvation Army Band. He developed lower back pain, which did not resolve, and shortness of breath. Subsequent investigations revealed that he was suffering from sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

The only asbestos exposure that Dennis could recall during his previous employment was when he worked at the Harland & Wolff shipyards between 1953 and 1954 as an apprentice electrical fitter in Belfast - his first job after leaving school.

Dennis had worked on warships in the deep-water wharf. He remembered that whilst working alongside various tradesmen on the aircraft carrier, HMS Bulwark, whilst it was being constructed, he ran cables and wires to different parts of the ship. This involved removing wires and crawling through all sorts of places where other workers used asbestos. For example, riggers would bring asbestos to cut it up and put it around the ropes, and Dennis worked close to where the asbestos was cut. 

Soon after contacting us, Dennis sadly passed away, leaving a wife who had been dependent on him for income and services around the home. We helped his family pursue the case, which included a claim for her loss of dependency.

The representatives for the insurers for Harland & Wolff agreed to deal with the claim despite the company that exposed Dennis to asbestos being situated in Northern Ireland (a different legal jurisdiction from England and Wales). At a meeting with the defendant’s insurers, we were able to negotiate an early settlement, which brought the claim to a successful conclusion without the need for court proceedings. 

The damages settlement of £158,000 included a small award for the Duchess of Kent Hospice who provided care during Dennis’ final days.

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 for a free initial discussion.