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Case Study: Mechanical Engineer Claims After Contracting Mesothelioma
The family of a man who was diagnosed with mesothelioma and sadly later died have been awarded £72,500 compensation from his former employers.
Mr B was exposed to asbestos as a result of his work as a mechanical engineer. Shortly before his death, Mr B expressed a desire to make a claim for compensation. He lived with his ex-wife, who was put in touch with JMW Solicitors, where associate, Abigail Morrison, handled the claim.
Sadly, Mr B declined rapidly after his diagnosis and passed away before Abigail was able to speak to him. However, his wishes were very clear in that he wished to pursue a claim. He ensured that his ex-wife took down all his employment details and provided as much anecdotal evidence as possible.
There were extra complications on the case as Mr B and his entire family had emigrated to Australia some years earlier. We therefore had to conduct the case entirely via phone and email. Further, although Mr B’s daughter was the executor of Mr B’s estate, she found it too upsetting to deal with the claim, and asked her mother, Mr B’s ex-wife, to deal with the case instead.
Identifying the Defendants
Abigail conducted an extensive review of Mr B’s employment history from the details Mr B had provided, and his employment records held by the DWP. She identified four potential sources of exposure and wrote letters to each, telling them of Mr B’s estate’s decision to claim.
Whilst we waited for their response, Abigail began to gather additional supporting evidence for the case. She spoke to Mr B’s brother, who worked in the same industry. He provided us with a witness statement confirming that Mr B would definitely have been exposed to asbestos in the former roles he had held with the four potential defendants.
Abigail also asked an independent consultant chest physician to prepare a desktop report, based on Mr B’s medical records and post-mortem information. The report supported Mr B’s death having occurred because he had contracted mesothelioma, due to exposure to asbestos in his workplaces.
Abigail discussed the case with a barrister, fully reviewing it. After noting that it may be difficult for the case to succeed against one of the four defendants, due to a lack of supporting evidence that specifically led to them being responsible for Mr B’s asbestos exposure, Abigail decided to focus the claim against the remaining three defendants. As the case was close to the date where it must legally be settled or in the court process, Abigail issued protective court proceedings on the case.
The three remaining defendants admitted liability. Abigail felt that the best tactic was to make an offer to settle the claim. After discussing this with Mr B’s family, they agreed and Abigail put an offer forward. Solicitors for each of the three defendants accepted the settlement offer. However, they required sight of a Grant of Probate before being able to formally agree the settlement.
In Australia, it is not common practice to obtain a Grant of Probate upon an individual’s death. After speaking with Mr B’s family about the options to obtain one, they commissioned JMW’s wills, trusts and estates team to draw up a Grant of Probate. On sight of the document, each of the defendants was able to release the appropriate amount of funds and Abigail was able to settle the case. Mr B’s family were relieved to complete the case and move on with their lives.
Talk to Us
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you believe it is as a result of either a previous or current job, speak to us today to see if you can make a claim. Call us on 0800 054 6570 or fill in a contact form and we will call you back.