Family of Man Who Died of Mesothelioma Win Compensation Claim

Author:
Anthony Waddington
Senior Associate Solicitor, Industrial Disease Claims
Date:
25/05/2021

Widow Receives Compensation and Probate Help after Husband’s Death from Asbestos Related Cancer

Mr E began suffering chest pains in late 2018 and went to see his GP. He was referred to the hospital where he had a CT scan, and fluid was found on his lungs. Following a test of the fluid, it was found that he was most likely suffering from mesothelioma - an asbestos-related cancer of the lining of the lungs.

The disease had a devastating effect on his life, as he began to suffer with chest pains and fatigue. He’d also easily get out of breath if he exerted himself and within just a few short months he sadly passed away from the disease.

Mr E got in touch with our specialist Industrial Disease Solicitors for a free claims assessment as soon as he was diagnosed, as he was advised by those treating him that most mesotheliomas are caused by asbestos exposure at work. After speaking with him, I felt he had grounds to claim mesothelioma compensation, so he and his family could get any care and support they needed.

Asbestos

How Was He Exposed to Asbestos?

I obtained details of Mr E’s working history, so we could pinpoint when and where he might have exposed to harmful levels of asbestos and who was responsible for it.

We found that in 1957, he took an apprenticeship at a company that manufactured equipment for sites such as power stations and chemical plants. At first, he worked in the factory on the design and manufacturing side, but he later moved into a new role which saw him work away from the factory and start fitting equipment at customer sites.

Mr E told us he believed it was from this point onwards that he was exposed to asbestos, as over the next eight years, he would often be sent to third party sites where asbestos was present.

Although he didn’t work directly with asbestos, he would have routinely been exposed to it as part of his day-to-day job.

For example, he recalled that at one site, that was still under construction, he worked close to other workers who were lagging steam pipes with wet asbestos paste. They would mix up raw asbestos powder on site to make the wet paste, which would produce dust that would linger on the air and settle on the floor.

Since Mr E wasn’t wearing a dust mask, he couldn’t help breathing in the asbestos dust they created.

He also remembered another occasion where he was setting up a temperature instrument on a pipe that had been lagged with asbestos. He had to lean over and touch the asbestos to fit the instrument, and found the asbestos dusty to the touch. This meant it easily got on his hands and clothes, and he breathed it in as he disturbed it.

We approached Mr E’s former employer with details of his Asbestos Claim, arguing they knew the type of sites he was visiting and what his work would involve, so should have taken measures to protect him from harmful levels of asbestos.

Asbestos warning

Helping the Family

Sadly, Mr E’s condition got worse and he moved into a hospice, where he eventually passed away. I was however able to continue with the claim on behalf of his widow.

I helped her with the inquest process as the Coroner investigated the cause of her husband’s death, which the Coroner has to do when an unnatural death is suspected. We supplied the Coroner with all the information we gathered throughout the case, and they concluded that Mr E passed away due to the industrial disease mesothelioma.

I also helped Mrs E with obtaining a Probate so she could properly deal with Mr E’s estate.

What was the Outcome?

Before he passed away, we helped Mr E obtain a lump sum of £14,334 from the Department for Work and Pensions, and also weekly payments of about £180 for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, which he received from the date of his diagnosis until his death.

Following his death, I negotiated with the insurance company of Mr E’s former employers, and it was agreed that £177,363 would be paid to his widow.

I also recovered £1,338 for the hospice that treated Mr E before he died.

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