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Boyes Turner LLP were instructed by Mabel* following the sad death of her husband, Frank*, due to mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer.

Exposure to asbestos

Mabel confirmed that her husband was exposed to asbestos dust while working for Jefferson & Somerville Limited in Princes Risborough, from approximately 1963 to 1966. They used to make caravans.

Frank used to make the kitchens in the caravans and this involved widespread use of asbestos panels. He used to cut the panels to size using circular saws and would use a drill to fit them to the structure of the caravan. 

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma and sadly passed away on 1 October 2016.

Application to the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment scheme

We investigated Jefferson & Somerville Limited and ascertained that they had long since been dissolved. Unfortunately, we were unable to trace any employers’ liability insurance that they may have had while Frank worked there. In cases such as these, where the asbestos exposure took place in the 1960s or before, this is a common problem because employers’ liability insurance was not mandatory until 1972. 

Even where insurance was in place, it is not always possible to trace the relevant insurance company as there was no central database of insurance policies at this time. 

We therefore made an application under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme, which was put in place to compensate victims of mesothelioma who were negligently exposed to asbestos by uninsured employers. 

We took statements from some of Frank’s former colleagues, who were able to provide detail on the work that they used to do at Jefferson & Somerville Limited and how they were exposed to asbestos.

The application was successful and Mabel was awarded compensation by the administrators of the scheme.


We were pleased to help Mabel receive compensation for the tragic death of her husband. While no amount of money can change this, she was pleased with outcome of the case and said “You have no idea what a difference this will make to my life. I just can’t believe it. Thank you, because it is all down to you”.