Pleural plaques and lung cancer
Our client had suffered from asthma for some years when, in late 2003, his breathing got noticeably worse. He went into hospital for initial tests which did not reveal the cause of his breathlessness. After numerous subsequent tests and investigations, he was told that he had pleural plaques and a lung cancer which were probably linked to his previous exposure to asbestos.
Our client was exposed to asbestos when working as a scaffolder and foreman for Mills Scaffold Co. Limited in Drakelow Power Station in Derbyshire. Our client was exposed to asbestos from lagging on the miles of pipe work and other equipment in the power station.
A claim was issued against the successor to Mills Scaffold in the High Court in London. The claim was dealt with under an expedited system actually designed to deal quickly with mesothelioma claims, but offered to our client because of his serious asbestos-related disease and short life expectancy.
The High Court judge required RMD Kwikform to show why our client's claim should not succeed. The company's representatives were ultimately unable to do so, but threatened to argue that there was no proven link between our client's exposure and the development of his lung cancer. This is a controversial area on which the courts have yet to rule definitively. Fortunately, despite the potential argument, the claim was settled by negotiation for £40,000.
Apart from the significant litigation risk, we also had to build in a discount to reflect the contribution made by our client's smoking history.
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