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Case Study: Contractor Mesothelioma Claim
The family of a man who passed away following exposure to asbestos during his working life has been awarded £187,500 in compensation thanks to JMW's industrial disease team.
Mr B was an Irish national who came to the UK in 1959 and developed mesothelioma after working in different workplaces where he was exposed to asbestos. He was made aware of JMW Solicitors via his local asbestos awareness support group. Mr B chose to make a claim for his disease with us and dealt with Andrew Lilley, head of industrial disease.
Mr B was a retired builder and was self-employed for most of his working life, being contracted onto various jobs. We took a detailed witness statement from him about his employment history, so that we could narrow down which work environments had exposed him to the asbestos that had caused him to contract mesothelioma.
Two employers had contributed to his asbestos exposure; a formwork company, for whom he was contracted to work on a rebuild and refurbishment of a railway station in West London in 1964/5, and a construction company for whom he carried out work on an asbestos-sheeting covered roof in 1974.
We also got details of his employment and national insurance history from HM Revenue and Customs, and copies of his medical records from his GP and the hospital that had diagnosed him with mesothelioma.
Letter of Claim
After tracing his former employers, Andrew sent letters of claim to both of these defendants’ insurance companies regarding Mr B’s claim, of which we were ultimately only able to secure one. We also discovered that the insurance company in question involved the ‘trigger’ litigation to avoid making compensation payouts on mesothelioma claims. Any compensation payout we were able to secure would depend on the results of the legal action, which was then being heard in the Supreme Court.
Mr B’s Death
Unfortunately at this point in the case, Mr B passed away and responsibility for his claim passed to his son. We obtained details of earnings and all costs arising as a direct result of Mr B’s illness, so that we could prepare a Schedule of Loss – a document highlighting all quantifiable losses that could be attributed to the illness – to help us determine an accurate compensation amount.
Andrew commissioned a desktop report on Mr B’s medical condition from a consultant chest physician, based on existing medical evidence, including a biopsy that had been conducted in Mr B’s lifetime. This report supported Mr B’s mesothelioma diagnosis, and Andrew was able to disclose it to the defendant’s insurer to support the claim along with a Schedule of Loss. We agreed a valuation with the insurers as to what Mr B’s claim was worth, which would be paid in the event that the decision in the Supreme Court was favourable.
After some rigorous negotiation with the insurer, we confirmed a figure of £187,500. Some months later, the result of the appeal in the Supreme Court was delivered in the favour of claimants. This meant that we were able to pursue the insurer for a payment of £187,500.
Mr B’s son and wife were delighted with the work we had done on the case and that we were able to bring Mr B’s claim to a satisfactory resolution.
Talk to Us
If you or a loved one has contracted mesothelioma and you believe it is as a result of a job, either current or previous, speak to JMW Solicitors to find out if you can make a claim. Call us on 0800 054 6570 or fill in a contact form and we will call you back.