May 26, 2016

Mesothelioma claim for a former industrial painter settled for over £200,000

Mr C,  a retired industrial painter, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in the autumn of 2014 when he was 68. He worked for Ian Williams, an industrial decorating/pipe fitting company in the mid to late 1960s. He would often be working in industrial locations and described being exposed to considerable levels of asbestos. This was both as a result of his own work and also as a result of welders and pipefitters and laggers working alongside him. He was not given a mask or any warnings.

The defendant company tried to argue that our client's level of exposure to asbestos was insufficient for them to be at fault. This was not a reasonable stance, so Court proceedings were issued in the spring of 2015. The High Court in London has specialist asbestos judges who deal with mesothelioma claims quickly. As soon as a defence is received they will list a short hearing to review the evidence and decide whether or not judgment should be entered against the Defendants. This was precisely what happened for Mr C.

Mr C’s claim for various losses was disputed by the defendant. Mr C faced the very difficult decision about whether to press on and look to settle his claim personally or for his wife to conclude it after his death for a higher settlement. This decision was made even more difficult by the fact that Mr C was in uncontrolled pain until he was admitted to a hospice in the summer of 2015. They managed at last to control his pain and to give him a few brief weeks of relative comfort before sadly his condition deteriorated and he died.

His widow then took over the claim and a timetable was put in place for it to be finalised in the spring of the following year. The defendant contested the widow’s right to bring the claim until there was a Grant of Probate, but we were able to successfully argue that she was entitled to bring the claim as she had been appointed Executor under Mr C’s Will. The defendants then investigated the widow’s own state of health attempting to argue that she had health problems that would have impacted on her life expectancy. The expert evidence did not support this and the claim concluded in April 2016 for in excess of £200,000.

It gave Mr C great peace of mind in his final months to know that his widow was going to be entitled to a substantial settlement. As well as the settlement for his widow, we were also able to recover over £10,000 to represent the care provided to Mr C by the hospice during his last weeks and months.

After his death Mr C’s widow wanted to buy us a gift. Instead, we asked her to make a donation to Mesothelioma UK to support the valuable work they do in supporting others who have been diagnosed with or affected by mesothelioma.

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