Oliver Chapman, specialist personal injury lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore's Tunbridge Wells Office, has secured over £140,000 for the widow and estate of a former floor fitter who died from mesothelioma after he was exposed to asbestos by his former employers.
W, a retired Floor Fitter, had been retired for several years when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer which most commonly develops in the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall) and usually develops as a result of breathing in asbestos dust and fibres, often decades before.
We met with W and took a detailed account of his employment history. It appeared that he had been exposed to asbestos dust in a number of employments in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The employments when W had been most regularly and heavily exposed to asbestos were when working for Limmer and Trinidad Company Limited (1965-1970) and Durastic Limited (1970-1971) when he worked stripping out ships. His job was to install safety flooring, but he worked alongside others who were stripping out crumbling asbestos and re-laying pipes. Substantial quantities of asbestos dust were generated into the air, which W inhaled.
We obtained medical evidence which suggested that this asbestos exposure materially contributed to W’s later development of mesothelioma.
We acted for W pursuant to a conditional fee agreement (no win no fee) but unfortunately he died during the course of the claim. After giving W’s widow time to grieve she continued his claim on behalf of his Estate and also brought her own claim as his widow and dependant. W died without a will but our probate team were able to take out letters of administration.
Extensive efforts were required in order to identify the relevant employer’s liability insurers, for the proposed defendants as both had gone into liquidation and both had complex corporate histories, which involved a number of name changes. Our specialist corporate and commercial team were able to assist with the investigations.
Insurers were identified and a settlement was negotiated worth over £140,000 to W’s Estate and widow. Court proceedings were avoided and the settlement brought W’s widow financial security which also enabled her to help her family.
In addition to the compensation, the defendant paid all of our legal costs.
A number of lawyers from our asbestos and chemical poisoning team worked on this claim including Jonathan Herbert and Oliver Chapman.