Mr Brian Shay is a 72-year-old former British Rail fitter who was employed at its locomotive works in Doncaster between 1953 and 1993. In April 2009, sadly Mr Shay was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the incurable asbestos-related cancer.
We visited Mr Shay at his home on 15 April 2009 and took a statement from him about his working history and contact with asbestos. As was all too common in the industry in which Mr Shay worked, there was a great deal of asbestos used.
Mr Shay came into contact with asbestos blankets used in steam locomotives, asbestos lagging around the steam locomotive smoke boxes and exhaust manifolds on diesel locomotives.
A written statement was prepared and sent to British Rail's claims handlers on 27 April 2009. British Rail accepted straight away that Mr Shay had been negligently exposed.
A formal letter of claim was sent on 7 May and an interim payment of damages was negotiated on behalf of Mr Shay and agreed on the same date. In the meantime, we had assisted Mr Shay to apply for industrial injuries disablement benefit and a payment under the workers' compensation scheme.
The agreed payment of interim damages was sent to Mr Shay on 18 May 2009. Industrial injuries disablement benefit had been awarded previously and a lump sum payment under the workers' compensation scheme followed on 19 May 2009.
We then instructed a medical expert to prepare a report on the diagnosis and cause of Mr Shay's illness and his life expectancy. We also prepared a schedule of Mr Shay's financial losses on which to negotiate an overall settlement of his claim.
The medical report and schedule of financial losses were sent to British Rail on 22 June 2009. Negotiations followed and the claim was settled for a substantial sum on 28 July 2009, just over 3 months after our first contact with Mr Shay.
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