September 7, 2023

Living Mesothelioma Claim Settled for Former Gas Fitter 5 months after Instructions

Posted in Mesothelioma

Annabelle Neilson in our expert mesothelioma claims team was instructed at the end of January following Clifford’s diagnosis of mesothelioma, which he had received in December 2022. At the time that Clifford provided his instructions, he had been largely housebound as he lived in a second floor flat which was accessed via a communal staircase with over 35 steps. Clifford was unable to manage the steps shortly after his diagnosis and remained within his home other than a short period at a local hospice for symptom management.

Clifford explained to our expert mesothelioma claims solicitors, that he was exposed to asbestos when working as a gas fitter for British Gas (now Southern Gas Networks Plc) from the age of 15 years in 1956 until 1984 when he retired. Clifford started as an apprentice gas fitter and, after his five-year apprenticeship, became a gas fitter first class, before becoming a gas fitter and then service engineer.

Clifford recalled that as a gas fitter he was involved in installing asbestos flue pipes. He would cut the asbestos flue pipes with a hacksaw and then join it up into the roof space. He undertook work such as mixing and applying asbestos lagging and worked with asbestos oven linings, asbestos mats, and asbestos boards when fitting fires. Clifford was exposed to asbestos dust a result of this work. He would also work alongside other tradesman including carpenters, plumbers, and plasters and worked in dusty environments.

We visited Clifford at his home which overlooked the bowling green and was close to the coast. Clifford loved to sit and watch the bowls from his living room window.

We prepared a witness statement dealing with the circumstances of Clifford’s exposure to asbestos and a Letter of Claim was sent to Southern Gas Networks PLC. We put pressure on the Defendant to admit liability in his case and an interim payment of £50,000 was agreed for Clifford within 6 ½ weeks of our visit to him.

Because Clifford could not easily leave his home and his wife suffered with a disability, which meant she could not easily assist Clifford with his care needs, we instructed a care expert with mesothelioma nursing experience to visit Clifford at his home to assess his care needs and requirements. Unfortunately, Clifford’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and he required increasing levels of care.

Clifford instructed us to settle his claim in his lifetime and we were pleased to negotiate settlement of £160,000 just over 5 months following Clifford’s instructions. Clifford was delighted to have reached a settlement within his lifetime, but sadly passed away 4 days after settlement was agreed. Clifford had the peace of mind knowing that his wife was provided for financially, and she now had the funds to adapt her living to accommodate her disability.

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