Our expert asbestos claims lawyers were instructed by a 77 year old former steel erector who had been diagnosed with asbestosis and diffuse pleural thickening following exposure to asbestos dust during the 1960s and 1970s.
The client suffered asbestos exposure during four periods of employment. He worked for Leonard Cooper Limited as a steel erector during Tax Year 1961/62 and his work involved erecting roofs made from corrugated asbestos sheets. The client did the same work whilst employed by W. Madden (Insulation) Limited during the same Tax Year and with J L Usher during Tax Year period 1963/64 to 1964/65. He also worked for International Combustion during Tax Year period 1964/65 to 1973/74 during which time he worked inside the boiler houses of a number of power stations replacing asbestos lagging between the pipework and metal plates that surrounded the boilers.
Medical evidence was obtained in support of a diagnosis of asbestosis and diffuse pleural thickening causing a 10% respiratory disability. The medical expert assessed that there was a 20% risk of the client’s asbestosis worsening to cause an additional 10% respiratory disability during the remainder of his lifetime. He also concluded that there was a 3% risk of the future development of mesothelioma and a 5% risk of the future development of lung cancer.
As J L Usher was no longer active, a claim could only be pursued against it if its Employers’ Liability Insurers could be traced for the period of the client’s employment with the firm. Extensive enquiries were made, but to no avail. It is doubtful that such insurance existed given that the firm was a small set-up and that it was not compulsory to have Employers’ Liability Insurance in place at the time. 84% of the claim (according to a time exposed basis) was pursued against the other three culpable employers.
On the basis of the exposure and medical evidence put forward in support of the client’s claim, W. Madden (Insulation) Limited admitted liability and International Combustion Limited indicated a willingness to reach a settlement. However, Leonard Cooper Limited was unwilling to enter into settlement negotiations and so Court proceedings were issued against all three employers.
After service of Court proceedings and an initial Case Management Conference attended by each of the parties’ representatives and a Master of the Court, settlement negotiations commenced and resulted in a settlement for the client in the apportioned sum of £14,239.