Mr J was a heating engineer in the 1960s employed by a local company whose business involved plumbing, heating and air-conditioning installations.
Mr J spent the majority of his employment working at various customer sites carrying out jobs such as installation, repairs and maintenance to boilers, heating systems and pipework. When carrying out these tasks he was frequently required to remove old asbestos lagging by hand, with the aid of a hammer and chisel. This created asbestos dust which he inhaled regularly.
Mr J worked alongside laggers when the boilers and pipework were being re-lagged, again exposing him to large amounts of asbestos dust.
He was further exposed to asbestos when required to work with other asbestos products, including PC4, which was a plaited asbestos rope used to pack between boilers sections and into socketed joints on spun iron water pipes and old cast iron heating mains, to make them watertight. He would use a hacksaw to cut the rope, which created asbestos dust, which would get onto his hands and clothing as he handled the rope to manipulate it into place. He was also required to cut to size flue pipes for the gas boilers, which were made from a soft asbestos cement, further exposing him to asbestos dust.
Mr J was also required to work with Asbestolux, a thin asbestos fibre board. He would cut this to size and it was used to create fire breaks within a boiler or plant room. This product was very soft and would freely release asbestos fibres when cut or manipulated, again exposing him to asbestos dust.
Mr J contacted SJP Law in late 2020 following his diagnosis of mesothelioma. Our investigations commenced and we gathered evidence to establish exposure and diagnosis, including expert evidence from a chest physician, who gave evidence on life expectancy both with and without mesothelioma. Prior to the onset of his symptoms, our client was active, fit and healthy, with no significant health complaints.
Following disclosure of our evidence, the insurers of the Defendant company admitted responsibility in early October 2021 and agreed to pay a five-figure interim award to Mr J.
We also obtained evidence from a consultant oncologist, who advised Mr J was a suitable candidate for immunotherapy; a non-NHS funded treatment. We negotiated an agreement with the insurers of the Defendant who agreed to fund immunotherapy for Mr J for as long as this treatment is required and continues to provide benefit.
In December 2021 we negotiated a six-figure settlement for the remainder of the claim, which included compensation for pain and suffering, care provided by family, loss of pension, gardening and DIY expenses and travel expenses.
Emma White, who led the claim commented:
"Sadly, this case highlights the devastating impacts of exposure to asbestos, often many decades after the exposure occurred. Too often we see similar cases, where companies fail to protect their employees, leading to illness or injury.
This settlement ensures justice for our client and financial security for him and his families future. It was also important to our client that he receive treatment to prolong life expectancy, and settlement included funding for ongoing immunotherapy treatment, unavailable on the NHS."
Our client said:
"I would like to thank you for all of the advice and regular updates that you have given to me regarding the procedures and the claim, clearly you have been active and in communicating with the defendant and their insurance company in securing an early and very reasonable settlement.
I would also like to thank you for your advice and information for extending the claim to cover the funding of the latest Immunotherapy treatment that is not available on the NHS, and obtaining the funding of the treatment as part of the settlement also securing the promise from the defendant to continue the funding for as long as it is deemed the treatment is beneficial to me for which I am very grateful.
You have dealt with my case in a very effective and professional manner, I have had confidence in you to act on my behalf and at no time have I had any concerns about the proceedings. When first diagnosed that the problems were asbestos related I was advised that I should make a claim against the company who when I was between the age of 16 to 18 years old sent me to be exposed to the asbestos as part of my job, at the time I came to you the advice you gave me and your professionalism gave me the confidence I needed to proceed with the action and your company, thank you."
If you or a loved one is affected by an asbestos related disease, contact our team today on 01482 324591