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Damages recovered for the estate of former garden building constructor following her death from mesothelioma

Oliver Chapman, specialist industrial disease lawyer, acting for the claimant, successfully obtained an out of court settlement of £130,000 to compensate the estate of a former garden building constructor who died of mesothelioma 50 years after occupational exposure to asbestos.

We were instructed by Miss T, who was the daughter and executrix of her mother who had died at the age of 77 of mesothelioma.

Mrs T’s only exposure to asbestos was in the employment of Robert H Hall & Co. between 1963 and 1968.  The firm manufactured cedar wood garden buildings, together with prefabricated buildings used in schools and hospitals.  Those buildings had asbestos ceiling panels.

About once a month, Mrs T was required to perform hands on work with those asbestos panels.  That work created asbestos dust which she inhaled.  She was exposed to asbestos on a daily basis as her workbench was immediately adjacent to those who worked with the asbestos ceiling panels full time.  Mrs T’s husband also worked for the same firm and it is likely that he worked in the construction of an asbestos type garage.  Mrs T laundered his clothes.  It appears that level of exposure was relatively modest, but far from minimal.  Health and safety precautions were non-existent.

We were initially approached by Mrs T shortly before she died.  She was living in Vancouver, Canada, having emigrated in the early 1970s.

We obtained her witness evidence shortly before she died and were subsequently instructed by her daughter, Miss T.  We obtained witness evidence from Mrs T’s widower, although that was limited as he had Alzheimer’s disease.  We also managed to trace a further witness who had worked with Mrs T at Halls in the 1960s.  The letter of claim was served and Zurich Insurance, on behalf of Halls, promptly admitted liability.  Expert evidence was obtained but, unfortunately, Mr T suddenly died.  Thereafter we were able to negotiate a settlement of £130,000 which included claims on behalf of the estate of Mrs T, but also a claim on behalf of her widower’s estate for the sums he had been entitled to claim the moment before he died.  This included a sizeable claim for the care and assistance that Miss T had provided her father, in respect of his Alzheimer’s disease, which but for her mesothelioma Mrs T would have provided.

Oliver Chapman specialises in asbestos and mesothelioma cases.  If you would like to ask Oliver a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact Oliver at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701234 in confidence.

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