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West Yorkshire Hospice Receives Costs of Treating Cancer Patient

Specialist asbestos claims lawyers from our Leeds office have recovered costs of over £20,000 for a West Yorkshire hospice which cared for one of our clients prior to his death from mesothelioma.

In September 2016, father-of-five Douglas Zipfel passed away at the age of 72, just four months after he was diagnosed with cancer of the lung lining. This type of cancer is commonly associated with exposure to asbestos materials and, prior to his death, Douglas instructed legal experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he developed the illness.

Our lawyers secured his family a settlement from Redford & Dyson Limited after discovering that he had been exposed to asbestos while working there between 1984 and 1986.

Towards the end of his life, Douglas was cared for at Overgate Hospice in Elland. Acting on behalf of his family and as a result of a landmark case led by us in 2010, we have been able to secure funds from his former employer’s insurer to reimburse the hospice for the costs of looking after Douglas.

The decision means that Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office has now recovered an estimated £200,000 of hospice care costs to date, with more cases ongoing.

Ian Toft, a Partner in Irwin Mitchell’s Asbestos-Related Disease team in Leeds, said:

“Hospices play a hugely important community role and we are delighted that we’ve been able to give back to a vital organisation like Overgate Hospice in Elland.

“Unfortunately many people do not know that many hospices are heavily reliant on donations and fundraising efforts by local groups.

“However, by looking to reclaim the cost of care through a legal claim, families are able to give back and say thank you to an organisation which has provided fundamental support to their loved ones at an incredibly difficult time.”

Douglas’s daughter Sharon took over the claim following his death. She said: “It was very tough to see how mesothelioma affected Dad, but the help and support of Overgate Hospice proved so important in his final days.

“It’s fantastic news that the costs of his care have been recovered and we hope that they’re used to help others who face the same difficulties.”

Laura Golding, Director of Income Generation at Overgate Hospice, said: “Douglas’ case is an extremely sad one, and unfortunately we have cared for many people who have suffered similarly.

“The funds secured by Irwin Mitchell will go a long way towards supporting the provision of care for future patients and we are extremely grateful to Douglas and his family for their support.”

If you or a loved one are suffering from an asbestos related illness or you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can call us on 0808 302 4904 or contact us online for a free initial consultation with one of our experts.


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