Mesothelioma experts at Irwin Mitchell recently secured compensation of £750,000 for one of our clients, Mr R, who had been exposed to asbestos as a young man and many years later was given the terrible news that he had mesothelioma. Our specialist team at our Manchester office were able to negotiate a full settlement for Mr R in the final months of his life.
Exposure To Asbestos
Mr R had spent time at industrial plants and factories as part of his job including the well known Shell Carrington works, where the vast majority of the pipework was lagged with asbestos. When Mr R was at Shell Carrington inspecting the processes and pipework he worked near to men who were removing asbestos lagging from pipework. Although he himself was not working directly with asbestos, he inhaled the asbestos dust created by the men working near him. Despite the risks to his health, Mr R was never made aware of the dangers by his employer, or given a protective mask to wear.
Diagnosis Of Mesothelioma
When Mr R was diagnosed with mesothelioma out of the blue everything changed. He was working full-time on a self-employed basis but before long with his health deteriorating and undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment he made the difficult decision to stop working.
Battle For Justice
Court proceedings were started by Irwin Mitchell against Mr R’s past employer at the Royal Courts of Justice. At an earlier court appointment in July, the Judge ruled that his employer had been negligent and ordered them to pay an advance payment of £50,000 in compensation. The date for the final hearing was fixed for three months later when the Judge would decide how much compensation Mr R’s past employer should pay.
Our specialist asbestos related illness team prepared a written valuation of the claim for the Judge and put together all the evidence that was needed to support it. There was a large claim for Mr R’s future loss of income from his work on a self-employed basis.
We contacted many of Mr R’s former colleagues and clients he had done contract work for in the past and prepared witness statements for them to support the loss of earnings claim. They all described Mr R as a valued colleague, a talented man who was totally committed to his work and always in demand for contract work in his specialist field. We involved a forensic accountant to prepare a detailed analysis of Mr R’s past earnings and projected future earnings.
As the final hearing date approached and everything was in place Mr R’s past employers dealt him another blow. At the last minute they asked the Judge to reverse the earlier ruling that they had been negligent and to postpone the hearing in October to allow the court to hear their defence.
Our specialist Asbestos Related Disease team pulled out all the stops to ensure that Mr R’s case was not derailed by this unexpected turn. We persuaded the Judge that the final hearing date in October should be honoured and that the earlier ruling should not be reversed. Shortly before the final hearing date, a full settlement was agreed with Mr R’s past employer who paid the settlement of £750,000 to him promptly.
Geraldine Coombs, Partner in our Manchester Asbestos Related Diseases team commented:
“Money will never compensate for the devastation of getting a diagnosis like mesothelioma but bringing a claim against your past employer like Mr R did holds the employer to account. Having access to a specialist solicitor and the ‘fast track’ court procedure for mesothelioma claims is vital for sufferers.
“Clients like Mr R often tell me that they don’t want anyone else to go through what they have been through. They see the court claim as a way of making sure of that. They also stress how important it is to them to know that their family has been provided for if the worst happens.”
If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.
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