Case Study: Expat Electrician Mesothelioma Claim

The family of a man have received £130,000 compensation after he, unfortunately, passed away due to exposure to asbestos for long periods of working life.

The Claim

Mr R was a retired electrician who had spent many years working in close proximity to asbestos. Over his career he had worked with asbestos-lagged pipes and often come home covered in asbestos dust. Mr R was retired and living in Spain with his wife when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, aged 74. He decided to make a claim against his previous employers, but unfortunately passed away before the claim could be completed. JMW Associate Abigail Morrison and head of industrial disease Andrew Lilley continued to handle the claim for Mr R’s wife, eventually securing her a settlement of £130,000.

The Case

Mr R had first started working as an apprentice electrician when he was just 16, in 1955. In his first job, he recalled working in a boiler room in which pipes were lagged with asbestos, and where bags of raw asbestos were opened using Stanley knives, causing the dust to fly into the air. Mr R had later worked at United Reclaim as a maintenance electrician and once again came into regular contact with asbestos. Unfortunately, Abigail was unable to trace the insurers of Mr R’s first employers, but she was able to locate the insurers of United Reclaim, and sent them a letter of claim. They admitted breach of duty.

Obtaining Evidence

Because Mr R and his wife were living in Spain, there were some added difficulties in obtaining evidence. However, Abigail was able to obtain the necessary medical reports from the Spanish hospital that had treated Mr R, and to have them translated. Witness statements were also taken from Mr R, his wife and their children who also lived in Spain. After Mr R passed away, a further witness statement was taken from Mrs R in order to assess the ways in which her husband’s death had affected her life.

Progressing the Claim

Abigail compiled a schedule of losses that would demonstrate all of the financial losses that were incurred by Mr and Mrs R as a result of Mr R’s illness and subsequent death. Mr and Mrs R had made major renovations to their Spanish home so that Mr R would be able to access it as he became less physically able. Mrs R had also become a full-time carer for her husband, and it was important that these facts were represented in the final settlement amount.

To add further support to the case, Abigail arranged for medical experts to assess Mr R’s medical records. The experts confirmed that a rare form of mesothelioma had been the cause of Mr R’s death and attributed this to asbestos exposure.

During the claim’s progress, Abigail was able to secure an interim payment for Mrs R, who was under considerable financial strain because of her husband’s illness. This payment helped her to pay for various services like employing a translator during trips to the doctor.

Settling the Claim

With the schedule of losses compiled and sent to the insurer’s solicitors, Andrew now wished to obtain a good settlement for Mrs R as soon as possible, without going to court. Andrew engaged in negotiations with the insurer’s solicitors in order to come to an agreement. Subsequently, the insurers made an offer of £105,000 plus all benefits due to be repaid to the Government (in excess of £25,000). After careful consideration and consultation, Mrs R decided to accept this offer and was very pleased with the result.

Talk to Us

If you or a loved one has contracted mesothelioma at work, either in a current or a previous job, call us on 0800 054 6570 or fill in a contact form to talk through your situation and see if you are eligible to make a claim.

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