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Case Study: Engineering Expert Claims After Contracting Mesothelioma
JMW has negotiated a £87,005 settlement for a professor who was exposed to asbestos for lengthy periods of his working life.
Prof C was a retired engineering expert who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He was put in touch with JMW through an asbestos support group, where he dealt with Andrew Lilley, head of the industrial disease department.
Prof C had been exposed to asbestos in a number of different work environments where he had worked near asbestos-lagged pipework, and during his work at a university during the 1980s and 1990s.
We took a witness statement from him, highlighting all of these employments, as they could all be likely defendants in Prof C’s case. We also requested Prof C’s medical records and arranged for him to be seen by an independent consultant respiratory physician, who could provide a prognosis and confirm Prof C’s mesothelioma had been contracted as a result of his exposure to asbestos in his work environment.
Tracing the Defendants
Andrew sent letters of claim to the various employers who were still active and began investigations into the insurance positions of those employers of Prof C who were dissolved. He also asked Prof C to provide details of any costs incurred as a direct result of his disease, so that these could be included in a Schedule of Loss; a document highlighting all quantifiable losses suffered as the result of a personal injury that is used to help determine a final compensation award.
We also received a report from the consultant respiratory physician, which corroborated Prof C’s witness statement. Andrew was able to locate three of Prof C’s former employers who would act as defendants in the case and passed this report on to their insurers.
Unfortunately, Prof C died at this stage and the case was picked up by his son, Mr C. Mr C advised us that an inquest would be heard into his father’s death, and we asked for the results of the inquest to be sent to us to aid in settling the case. We also asked Mr C for copies of his father’s interim death certificate, the will and the grant of probate.
Andrew asked for copies of Prof C’s biopsy report and contacted the coroner’s office to provide us with a copy of Prof C’s post-mortem report. The report confirmed Prof C’s cause of death as mesothelioma.
Meanwhile, one of the defendants’ insurers admitted liability. We were able to provide them with a copy of the post-mortem, confirming Prof C’s cause of death. As Andrew now had strict proof regarding Prof C’s illness and its cause, he informed the defendant’s insurer we were ready to start court proceedings via letter. After receiving the letter, they contacted us asking to hold a settlement meeting without the need to issue court proceedings.
The meeting involved a negotiation process, at which an offer of £87,005 was put forward to settle the claim. We discussed the offer with Mr C, who told us he would be delighted to accept the offer.