Further Damages For Client With Asbestos-Related Disease

Further Damages For Client With Asbestos-Related Disease

Irwin Mitchell were instructed by Peter following a severe deterioration in his health.  Peter had been diagnosed as suffering from asbestosis and Pleural Plaques in 1999.  He had successfully pursued a claim against several Defendant companies after proving that he would have been exposed to asbestos during his employment with them as a Joiner in the early 1950s to late 1960s.

Peter had decided not to settle his claim on a full and final basis and instead took a smaller award so that he could return for further damages if he was diagnosed with any of the following conditions:-

  1. Diffuse pleural thickening causing a significant respiratory disability; and /or
  2. An increase in his current minimal level of asbestosis causing a significant respiratory disability; and/or
  3. Lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure; and/or
  4. Mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure.

In around 2005 Peter started to suffer from significant respiratory disabilities which affected him getting around his home, carrying out domestic duties and he found that he could no longer take part in activities which he enjoyed such as walking and bowls.  Peter’s GP advised him to seek legal advice and we advised him that if we could obtain medical evidence to support one of the return conditions he may be awarded further damages.  The medical report obtained confirmed that Peter now had a 50% respiratory disability compared to a minimum level of 10% as detailed in the Order from his initial claim.

This claim was quite difficult from the outset as it was felt that the Defendant’s insurers did not consider Peter’s claim to be a significant one. A directions Order was made by the court and the Defendant’s insurers failed to comply with this. The Defendants instructed solicitors which led to the claim proceeding more swiftly towards a settlement.

Experts met and prepared joint statements and there was a significant difference in their views. Peter had recently been diagnosed with intermittent claudication and the Defendants expert believed that this contributed 25% to an overall disability of 50%. Whereas our expert considered that even if the claudication was not present, Peter would still have a overall disability of 50%.

Negotiations were held between the parties and the claim was successfully settled 7 days before trial in the sum of £45,000 on a provisional damages basis allowing Peter to return for further damages if he develops asbestos related lung cancer or mesothelioma.

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