April 12, 2024

Family of former school caretaker who died from mesothelioma recovers compensation

Posted in Mesothelioma

Our Senior Associate, Laura Wilkinson, was instructed by the family of Mr G who sadly died from mesothelioma in June 2020.

Mr G had been employed as a caretaker in Somerset from 1989 to 1999.

We ran a witness appeal on Facebook to trace Mr G’s former work colleagues. In response, Laura heard from a former workmate who had worked alongside Mr G carrying out caretaking duties at the school just as Mr G had done. He described how they disturbed asbestos-containing materials around the school in the form of ceiling tiles, flooring, Artex on ceilings and walls, guttering and roofing.

Meanwhile, Somerset County Council provided disclosure in the form of the School’s original Asbestos Register, asbestos surveys and asbestos identification reports. The documents confirmed the presence of asbestos-containing materials throughout the school site in the final couple of years of Mr G’s employment and beyond. Laura was able to reference these documents in the witness statement of Mr G’s former colleague.

Somerset County Council continued to deny liability and so Laura issued the claim in the High Court on the same day that the council made a settlement offer. Court proceedings were served on the Council shortly after and the claim then settled just a few days later for a five-figure sum without the need for any court hearings.

The Council’s solicitors had argued that any award for Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity (one of the heads of loss) should fall below the Court’s guideline for such awards in mesothelioma claims on the basis that Mr G suffered mesothelioma symptoms for “only” two months. Laura successfully argued that the award should fall within the bracket, albeit at the lower end.

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