July 29, 2019

Carpenter who constructed portacabins recovers damages and immunotherapy costs

Peter had worked as a carpenter for Spooners (Hull) Limited where he fitted the modular portacabin buildings made by Spooners onto their customers sites. Many of the buildings had to have heating systems installed and required Peter to cut asbestos sheeting to size using a bench saw in order to box in the pipework. The portacabins were also fitted with an asbestos lining between the inner and outer wall, so every time Peter drilled into the wall asbestos dust was released. As a consequence of this work, Peter was exposed very heavily to asbestos which caused him to develop malignant mesothelioma.

As well as Peter’s evidence, Rachel was able to obtain evidence from other carpenters who had worked for Spooners (Hull) Limited. Following the issue of proceedings, the Court entered judgment in Peter’s favour and he was awarded an interim payment of £50,000. As Peter was a fairly young man, not yet at pensionable age, he also received a large lump sum payment from the Government which we were able to help him obtain.

Peter commenced chemotherapy treatment and took to it very well, with relatively few side effects. His treating consultant took a ‘watch and wait’ approach with his treatment because he was a fit man who enjoyed walking regularly and remained very active. However, as Peter’s condition progressed, he was recommended further chemotherapy treatment. Peter was very reluctant to have further chemotherapy treatment because he had witnessed several friends who had second line chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma deteriorating rapidly. He therefore investigated immunotherapy treatment, and decided that he would seek a second opinion on whether it would be an option for him.

Peter lived very rurally in a small village on the East Yorkshire coast. He and his wife cared for their grandchildren, especially their youngest grandchild who was not yet school age. Peter’s wife did not drive, so Peter decided that rather than being isolated and dependant on public transport, taxis and family members when he could no longer drive; they would move into a larger town where she could live closer to her family and have free access to public transport links. However, the property market was very limited and Peter could not find a home that mirrored his own, which he had built himself. Peter bought a house close to his daughter, which he decided he would renovate, with the assistance of paid tradesmen, who put on a garden room, like the one that had been the pride and joy of his existing home.

Peter has tolerated immunotherapy treatment very well and is continuing with it. The settlement included an agreement that the insurers would fund Peter’s immunotherapy treatment and any other reasonable treatments that his treating oncologist may recommend in the future. Peter’s settlement also included many of the renovation and moving costs that had arisen from his need to move into an area with better public transport links.

Rachel said “Peter is a lovely man with a real zest for life and a great love of his family. I am very happy that we have been able to agree a settlement that has not only allowed Peter to move into an area where he and his wife can maintain their independence, but also that he is able to have new and up and coming treatments in the future that will allow him to live for as long as possible, and with the best quality of life, whilst he spends as much time with his family as he can and watches his grandchildren grow up”.

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