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Boyes Turner were instructed by Mr Britton following his diagnosis of lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos dust whilst he was employed by Bovis Ltd as an apprentice painter and decorator during the late 1950s and 1960s. He also had brief exposure to asbestos whilst employed by T E Cundy & Son Ltd during the 1970s.

His work as a painter and decorator involved the disturbance of asbestos and also working alongside other tradesmen who were using asbestos. 

Whilst working for Bovis, he worked on commercial properties such as large shops, supermarkets, schools, colleges, factories and warehouses, including a television studio at Wembley and the Marks & Spencer store in Oxford Street. 

He had to paint pipes lagged with asbestos on projects with boiler houses as well as sweeping up such dust and disturbed the asbestos in preparation work and working alongside, for example, laggers and ceiling fixers.  

He worked at the British Rail Training Centre where he had to sand, dust and sweep asbestos cement panels before painting.

In the television studio in Wembley there were metal ducts for heating and extraction which he would have to crawl into and line with asbestos tiles which were cut to size.

As a result of his asbestos exposure, he developed lung cancer, which was treated by way of a wedge re-section.

We set about investigating his claim and obtained supportive medical evidence. 

We were unable to resolve matters and therefore in October 2015, court proceedings were issued to protect his position in terms of limitation and to press matters.

Following receipt of engineering evidence, Mr Britton’s claim against T E Cundy & Son Ltd was discontinued on the basis that that exposure was de minimis and did not materially contribute to a risk of him developing lung cancer.

The claim, therefore, continued against Bovis.

The litigation in Mr Britton’s case was lengthy and protracted.

We made an application for permission to obtain expert evidence from Dr Rudd, the pre-eminent expert in this field, on the basis that the matter might proceed to trial. That permission was granted.

At the same time, Bovis was given permission to serve engineering evidence out of time.

Late in the proceedings, Bovis’ solicitors sought to obtain permission to instruct an expert histopathologist but that application was dismissed with the matter to proceed to trial based on the engineering evidence obtained by both parties and the medical expert evidence already obtained.

The claim eventually settled six weeks before trial on a provisional damages basis.  Mr Britton had sought damages on a provisional basis so as to protect himself and his family for the future risks identified in the medical evidence. 

A provisional damages settlement was agreed which gives Mr Britton the compensation he is now entitled to, together with a court order which will enable him to return for further compensation in the event of a future significant deterioration or recurrence of his lung cancer.

Mr Britton is delighted with the outcome and comments as follows:

I would like to thank Mrs Harbutt for all her determination, warmth and good humour which made the whole thing less stressful”.

We are delighted to have assisted Mr Britton in his claim and to have secured such an excellent outcome in what was an incredibly difficult case.