Our asbestos related disease solicitors helped a carpenter’s widow claim compensation from her husband’s former employers.
Debbie* contacted our asbestos team after her husband (Rick*) died in 2016 from mesothelioma. After Rick’s death, Debbie was suffering both emotionally and financially. She had sold their house boat and was renting a property with a friend.
How We Helped
Our team, led by Virginia Chalmers and Rebecca Buxton, investigated if we could do anything for Debbie. Rick was only diagnosed with mesothelioma after his death so it would be difficult to find out when exactly he got exposed to asbestos. The family were also not able to provide the names of any colleagues who could describe his working life and any contact with asbestos.
We contacted a benefits advisor that Rick spoke to while he was in hospital. Rick had told her about his exposure to asbestos earlier in his life while he was a carpenter. The advisor kindly agreed to give a witness statement based on the notes she made while speaking to Rick.
Rick’s cousin also gave a statement. She spent a lot of time with Rick at his family home when they were younger. She remembered that Rick started his carpentry apprenticeship in the 1960s. He also worked on the maintenance and refurbishment of council houses in the Rossendale Borough Council. This gave us more information about Rick’s work history.
We found that Rick was exposed to asbestos while he was a carpenter working for Sutcliffe Bacup Limited. While there, he worked on fire doors which had asbestos in them.
Sutcliffe Bacup was no longer in operation when we made our claim, but we could make a claim against their insurers. At first they would not admit responsibility. They said Rick’s asbestos exposure was probably later in his career.
A Successful Settlement
With the evidence we had and the witness statements, the insurers finally admitted responsibility. We negotiated a six-figure settlement for Debbie without needing to go to court. She was pleased with the result and the fact that we could help her with such little evidence to start with.
The settlement has helped Debbie financially now that Rick was gone. Although nothing would replace the loss of her husband, she can at least know he got the justice he deserved.
Virginia Chalmers said:
“Mesothelioma is a devastating disease and it’s sad that [Rick] could not do anything about it in his lifetime. We’re glad we could help [Debbie] who was under huge financial strain after [Rick] passed away.
“It’s important companies keep their workers safe and admit responsibility when they make mistakes that affect people’s lives so badly.”
If you or a loved one has suffered from an asbestos related disease, contact our team today on 0370 1500 100.
*Names have been changed
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