Case Study: Heating Engineer Claims After Contracting Mesothelioma

The wife of a heating engineer who sadly passed away following exposure to asbestos whilst he was working has received a £160,000 settlement thanks to JMW's industrial disease team.

The Claim

Mr Y was exposed to asbestos during his career as a heating engineer and plumber, working with asbestos-lagged boilers and pipework. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma during his and his wife’s retirement in Spain. He decided to make a claim and got in touch with JMW Solicitors, where Abigail Morrison, Associate, handled his claim.

The Case

Abigail noted that, as Mr Y had been employed by a number of firms over the course of his career, there were several potential defendants in his claim. After a great deal of investigation, she ultimately identified a heating company as the primary source of his exposure.

The heating company had ceased trading and so we had to locate the company that insured them. Sadly, before we had the opportunity to locate the relevant insurance company, Mr Y passed away.

After further enquiries, Abigail did locate the employer’s liability insurers for the heating company, and sent them a letter, detailing the claim, which they passed to their solicitor. The heating company’s solicitor eventually admitted breach of duty and agreed to settle the claim.

Obtaining Medical Records

As Mr Y and his wife had emigrated to Spain some years earlier, there were some complexities involved in receiving Mr Y’s medical records from Spain. Abigail had to hire a translator and also ask Mrs Y to visit Mr Y’s treating hospital to retrieve copies of the medical records.

Meanwhile, Abigail also took a witness statement from Mrs Y, outlining the care and assistance Mr Y required whilst he was alive, the contribution he made to their household, and how her life had changed since Mr Y’s death.

Eventually, following two trips Mrs Y made to the hospital, we were able to get a copy of Mr Y’s medical records. Once we were in receipt of a translated copy of the records, Abigail instructed an independent medical expert to review them and provide us with an independent report. He confirmed Mr Y’s death occurred as a result of mesothelioma, via exposure to asbestos as a result of his work with the heating company. He also confirmed that Mr Y’s life expectancy was reduced by 14.9 years as a result of the disease.

Abigail put together a Schedule of Loss document, outlining all of Mrs Y’s financial losses as a result of Mr Y’s illness and death. Once Mrs Y had read the document and approved it, Abigail sent that, along with copies of Mr Y’s pension details, to the heating company’s solicitor. In turn, they made us a provisional offer to settle Mrs Y’s case.

Grant of Probate

We discussed this with Mrs Y, she agreed that it was a reasonable offer, and was happy to accept it. However, the offer was subject to the heating company’s solicitor receiving a Grant of Probate, a witness statement detailing Mrs Y’s health and some additional documentation. As a Grant of Probate is not a standard document to be produced in Spanish jurisdiction, our wills, trusts and estates department was able to assist, and arranged to produce one.

We collated the additional documentation required and, once we were in receipt of the Grant of Probate, we forwarded this to the heating company’s solicitor. They then sent Mrs Y’s agreed settlement. Mrs Y was delighted with our work, and happy to conclude the case.

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If you or a loved one contracted mesothelioma relating to either a current or previous job, call us on 0800 054 6570 or fill out a contact form to talk to one of our team about whether you have a claim.

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