Dad Of Two Can Focus On Family After Lawyers Secure Settlement To Fund Future Care

Expert Asbestos Lawyers Secure Settlement After Mesothelioma Diagnosis

27.09.2013

By Helen MacGregor

A former electrician diagnosed with a terminal asbestos-related cancer says he can finally concentrate on spending his remaining time with his loving family after expert lawyers secured him an out-of-court settlement from his former employers.

David Berry, of Middlesbrough in Cleveland, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, caused by inhaling deadly asbestos dust, in July 2011 after suffering flu-like symptoms and tiredness for seven months.

The 61-year-old former electrician was exposed to asbestos when he worked for Lilliker Brothers Limited between 1976 and 1983. His job entailed installing light fittings in new build houses and flats across the borough and he would regularly have to drill holes in asbestos-covered ceiling tiles. He was also responsible for removing old electrical wiring from older properties and had to remove ceiling and wall panels made from asbestos.

David instructed asbestos experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell but feared he would never see justice. Now, he has spoken of his relief after Lilliker Brothers Limited’s insurers agreed to pay him an undisclosed out-of-court settlement just six weeks before the case was due to go to trial.

Roger Maddocks, an industrial disease expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office representing David, said: “We are happy for David that the settlement can help provide financial security for him and his family and enable him to pay for care to improve his quality of life as he continues to battle mesothelioma.

“Even in the 1970s employers knew the risks associated with asbestos but yet did not do enough to protect David from the deadly dust. Sadly, he is now paying the price for his employers’ negligence decades ago.

“It’s only right that those people affected by exposure to asbestos through no fault of their own are entitled to justice from their former employers. Now, David can focus on spending time with his family in the knowledge that they will be provided for when he is no longer here.”

David, a grandfather-of-four, first started to show the symptoms of mesothelioma in January 2012 when he developed flu-like symptoms and felt constantly tired. Further tests at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough in July last year confirmed he was suffering from the incurable cancer. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy to help alleviate the symptoms.

He said: “I am delighted with the outcome of my case and that justice has now been obtained. The last few years have been devastating for my family and it truly has been an emotional rollercoaster. No amount of money will ever make up for my illness or what it has put my family through but now I can focus on spending the precious time I have left with my family without the worry of the legal case hanging over me.

“My job as an electrician was always so dirty and dusty and as I was usually working from the top of a step ladder fixing light fittings, my face always ended up covered in the asbestos dust falling from the ceiling. I couldn’t help but breathe in the deadly dust but my employer never warned me how dangerous asbestos could be or provided me with any special equipment of clothing to protect me from the worst of it.

“Mesothelioma is a horrible and extremely unpleasant illness for both myself and my family and it is only right that the business which exposed people to the material with no warnings or protection were brought to justice.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Mesothelioma Compensation Claims