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Written on 28th November 2022 by Melloney Harbutt


Lennie* was exposed to asbestos whilst working in a shop-fitting and joinery outfit in the mid 1970’s. He worked there as a wood machinist where he did all the woodwork for doors, coving, frames and so on. There were windows but they did not open, there was no extraction, and the door was never open. Lennie worked in the mill for the duration of his employment. Fitters would go out and fit it in shops once they had stripped them out. As part of his job, Lennie was instructed to cut asbestos sheets. There were also occasions when asbestos sheets measuring 8ft x 4ft were delivered to the mill and Lennie would have to carry them through the mill and stack them into a pile. Lennie would also be tasked with cutting the sheets to various specifications depending on what the job entailed. Any offcuts that were not used were put into a corner. Cutting the asbestos sheets created large amounts of dust and Lennie recalls the dust falling like snowflakes.


Lennie was diagnosed with covid in December 2019 and was incredibly poorly as a result. He developed shortness of breath after getting covid which eventually resulted in him attending his GP in February 2022. Lennie had a chest x-ray and PET scan and was then referred to St Bart’s hospital for a biopsy which he had in February 2022. Lennie was then sadly diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma in March 2022.  

The claim

We were instructed to act for Lennie in August 2022 and a witness statement was taken right away. We then began researching the defendant company and it was noted that this company had previously been restored to the companies’ house register. This means that there was a possibility that the defendant company could have been sued before. We therefore emailed the law firm that restored the company asking for any information they may have alongside completing insurance searches through the Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO).

It turned out that there was no insurance policy covering the time Lennie was employed and we then looked to submit a claim through the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS). Any individual that has been diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma can apply to this scheme for compensation if the employer responsible for the contact with asbestos or their insurer cannot be found. In this case, the defendant company had been dissolved and an insurer could not be located. This therefore means that there was no paymaster and a DMPS claim could be submitted. A DMPS claim was therefore submitted on 27 September 2022, and we were informed that Lennie’s claim had been successful on 28 October 2022. The actual amount an individual receives under the DMPS scheme is age dependant and Lennie was 70 years old when diagnosed. He was therefore entitled to a gross sum of £160,685.00 under the scheme.

anonymised for client confidentiality*

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