This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Chemical Poisoning & Asbestos team who recently negotiated within 58 days a full value compensation settlement for a former rivet boy who developed mesothelioma after four years' exposure to asbestos when working at Chatham Dockyard.
Mr S became was a rivet boy at Chatham Dockyard from 1943 to 1947. He was regularly exposed to significant quantities of asbestos because his work involved him assisting the riveters in various parts of ships, including boiler rooms of HMS Modeste and Nereide and others. He often worked in confined spaces in close proximity to laggers who were mixing up and then applying asbestos lagging. Mr S was often present whilst the laggers mixed asbestos powder with water to make up a lagging paste for pipework. his activity generated large quantities of asbestos dust into the atmosphere which hung in the air. As a result, Mr S regularly worked in clouds of asbestos dust which settled in his hair and on his clothes. Mr S ate in the work areas where there was asbestos dust in the air. In all of these ways Mr S was regularly exposed to significant quantities of asbestos dust in the atmosphere which he inhaled. Unfortunately for Mr S, no protective clothing or mask were ever provided to him and he went on to develop mesothelioma.
Thomson Snell & Passmore was contacted by Mr S on 7 November 2011 and work on a detailed witness statement commenced immediately. We acted for Mr S under a Conditional Fee Agreement (No win no fee) and protected him against the risk of losing by taking out After The Event insurance cover. A letter before action was written to the defendant on 21 November 2011 before proceedings in the Mesothelioma Fast Track were issued in the High Court on 29 November 2011. A request was made to the court to expedite the claim because Mr S was a widower. A Case Management Conference hearing took place on 20 December 2011 where we requested that everything be dealt with then and there. However the defendant requested more time to find employment records. The court allowed the defendant 28 days to ‘show cause’ why judgment should not be entered and set 19 January 2012 for final hearing when of damages could be assessed. We obtained more detailed witness evidence from Mr S which was so compelling in the intimate detail of the daily activities of a rivet boy in the dockyard that the defendant had no option but to concede that he was a former employee there. Offers and counter offers were exchanged before a settlement was reached on 3 January 2012.
Within 2 months of his diagnosis at Medway Maritime Hospital, Mr S was in receipt of significant funds.
This claim shows again how valuable the High Court Mesothelioma Fast Track is to assist in the resolution of these urgent claims. Previously, we have settled a mesothelioma claim in 27 days.
Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP specialises in industrial disease cases. If you would like to ask our team a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact Jonathan Herbert at Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP solicitors on 01892 701226 in confidence.