Case settled within 10 months for widow of former mechanic who suffered with mesothelioma

Boyes Turner’s mesothelioma specialists have secured a £150,000 settlement for the widow of a former employee of Jaguar Cars/BLMC.

Tony had recently moved into a new, single-storey apartment in a retirement village with his wife, Jan, when he started suffering from fatigue, breathlessness and back ache. After investigations at Coventry University Hospital, it was discovered that he had fluid on the lungs which needed to be drained repeatedly. Following a biopsy, he was diagnosed with sarcomatoid mesothelioma. He approached Boyes Turner to investigate a claim.

Tony’s doctors had asked him where he had come into contact with asbestos. At first, he couldn’t remember any asbestos exposure during his employment. 

He had worked in the building trade and thought it might be possible that he had come into contact with asbestos through that, but couldn’t recall any specific exposure. Then, as we talked with him about his employment history] he remembered that during his time as a mechanic for Jaguar Cars, he was required to service articulated lorries. These services included work on the brake shoes, and the brake linings were made from asbestos by companies such as Ferodo and Borg-Warner. The asbestos lining was bonded to the metal backing of the shoe. When the brake was engaged, the shoes pressed into the drum attached to the wheel, making it come to a stop or slow down. The friction caused the linings to produce dust which would wear over time. The first thing that Tony remembered doing was grabbing a compressed airline and blowing the dust into the workshop. 

Tony was also exposed to asbestos with a company known as Suttons Bakeries Limited for a few years in the late 1960s and 1970s. Again, he was a mechanic for this company and was exposed to asbestos in the same way as he was for Jaguar. Suttons Bakeries Limited was subsequently dissolved and we could not trace the insurers for the correct period of his employment. However, being unable to proceed against all culpable former employers is not a problem in mesothelioma cases as long as we can prove that the claimant suffered significant exposure to asbestos with at least one employer that can be sued. As long as we could prove that Jaguar Cars Limited breached their duty of care towards Tony and that their breach of duty contributed towards his condition of mesothelioma, then Jaguar Cars  and/or their successors in title would be responsible for the full amount of damages.

We notified Jaguar Cars and their insurers of Tony’s claim and obtained a medical report confirming that the asbestos exposure with Jaguar contributed to the contraction of mesothelioma. Our expert believed that Tony had heavy exposure to brake lining dust with Jaguar Cars, over and above his exposure at Sutton Bakeries Limited and over a more prolonged period. He had worked at Jaguar for about five years. 

[Tony was fortunate that as his condition deteriorated he was already living in single-storey accommodation and didn’t need to move from his home but, ] very sadly, Tony passed away just two months after we were initially instructed, and his widow, Jan, took over the claim for him.

We put forward an offer to settle the claim at full value to the defendant’s insurers, which they accepted. The defendant insurers were also happy to pay an additional amount directly to the hospice that provided end of life care for Tony in the days before he passed away.

Whilst, of course, no amount of money can adequately compensate Jan for the loss which she has suffered, she was pleased that the case was settled in such a short space of time without the need to issue Court proceedings.  

“Very professional yet at all times compassionate. Instilled confidence at a most difficult and harrowing time.”

(Jan’s testimonial about Laura Magson)

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 idclaims@boyesturner.com for a free initial discussion. 

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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