Jonathan Herbert, specialist industrial disease lawyer acting for the claimant successfully settled a claim on behalf of the executors of Mr T’s Estate to compensate him for his pain and suffering and financial losses due to death from mesothelioma caused by negligent exposure to asbestos dust when working as a teacher.
It was argued that Mr T developed mesothelioma as a result of inhaling asbestos dust over one weekend when he cleared out a store cupboard that required him to break up three large asbestos insulation board sheets and a number of smaller pieces to put into bags. He also swept up the asbestos dust and debris and shovelled it into a bin. No protective clothing or masks were provided to Mr M by his employer and he received no training or warning about the dangers of asbestos dust. The claim was defended on the grounds that:
- any asbestos exposure was minimal;
- this was not in the course of the deceased's employment;
- the defendant ought not reasonably to have foreseen a risk of mesothelioma from such exposure;
- the deceased voluntarily exposed himself to asbestos when he knew or ought to have known the risks involved.
Proceedings were issued. Permission was given for expert medical and engineering evidence to be obtained. The employer delayed disclosing asbestos survey reports. Experts reporting on behalf of Mrs T supported the claim. The defendant served no witness statements or expert evidence.
Offers of settlement were exchanged but it was not until there were less than three weeks before trial until the defendant made a reasonable offer and even then, it initially resisted the amounts deductible by reason of state benefits paid to the deceased.
Negotiations concluded with a settlement of £170,000.
Jonathan Herbert specialises in industrial disease cases. If you would like to ask Jonathan a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact him at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701226 in confidence.