Our client Nick Anderson remains positive as he continues life-prolonging treatment following his mesothelioma diagnosis.
After first being diagnosed with a rare form of asbestos-related cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma, Nick approached HASAG, an asbestos support group we work closely with. Through HASAG, Nick approached us for answers, support, and legal expertise to secure compensation to help both him and his family, now and in the future.
In many cases, mesothelioma is a result of someone coming into contact with asbestos directly. But before being diagnosed himself, Nick also lost his dad to the same illness.
Nick’s dad came into contact with asbestos while at work undertaking demolition, and passed away from pleural mesothelioma in 2017 at the age of 78. Unknown to Nick, he’d also been exposed to asbestos through the fibres on his dad’s work overalls. He’d regularly greet his dad coming home from work in his dusty overalls with a hug and sit on his knee at the kitchen table.
Having supported his dad throughout his illness, in July 2019 Nick attended a GP appointment with a pain in his lower right abdomen. A series of tests showed Nick had peritoneal mesothelioma.
This form of mesothelioma is caused by ingested asbestos fibres. It develops in the peritoneum, the thin layer of tissue lining the abdomen, as opposed to the more common pleural mesothelioma, which develops in the lining covering the lung. The life expectancy for sufferers is around one year without surgery or treatment.
Nick contacted Irwin Mitchell seeking compensation from his dad’s former employer. Partner Oliver Collett supported Nick, his wife and two children, and started legal action.
The Defendant, Leeds City Council, initially denied liability, until Oliver issued court proceedings. The resulting settlement was for a significant six-figure sum. This included funds for a future bespoke palliative care package, with an additional agreement that the Defendant will fund any future private treatment that Nick might need.
In addition to the legal support we could offer, our support and rehabilitation coordinator Michaela Morris also worked with Nick following him instructing us.
Michaela supported Nick and his family in navigating this difficult time by being there for them at low moments, and helping them to manage anxiety. She also gave advice and guidance on how to cope with the physical symptoms of his disease, and introduced the family to the right people to access additional services and benefits.
Hear from Nick, Michaela, and Nick's nurse from Mesothelioma UK, Samantha Westbrook:
Oliver, Nick’s solicitor, spoke about the case and his client:
“The past couple of years have been incredibly difficult for Nick, but he remains positive and has the support of his friends and family. We’re pleased to have settled his case, allowing him to access the specialist treatment he will need in the future while living with mesothelioma.
“Asbestos has posed a real danger in many workplaces for many years. But it’s not always recognised how the loved ones of people who worked with asbestos can also be at risk of developing this devastating disease.
“We sadly see many people affected by this cancer after coming into contact with contaminated work clothing. It’s important to raise awareness of the disease and its impact.”
As well as HASAG, Nick has also been supported by several external charities who we often work closely with. These include Mesothelioma UK, Mesothelioma Support Yorkshire (MESSY) and Maggie’s Yorkshire.
Samantha Westbrook is a peritoneal mesothelioma clinical nurse specialist whose post is funded by Mesothelioma UK. She was involved in Nick’s care during his treatment and surgery at the specialist peritoneal surgical centre at Basingstoke Hospital.
“As a patient’s cancer nurse, it’s important to understand the person and what matters to them.
“Nick and I spoke on the telephone at the beginning. I listened to him, filled in the gaps, and also gave him information about the disease. We also talked about the pathway processes.
“This is the time when a patient needs the most reassurance and support – a period of uncertainty and no clear plan.”
Throughout, Nick’s main concern was for his family and what will happen when he’s gone. Knowing his family will be financially secure gave Nick much reassurance.
In his spare time, Nick enjoys watching his beloved football team Leeds United. He’s also overseeing the development of a purpose-built bungalow that’ll support him with his illness.
Nick spoke about the support he's received:
“Right from the start Oliver came across to us as an empathetic, friendly but a professional person who soon put my wife and me at ease.
“Oliver and Michaela’s vast experience of working with asbestos related compensation claims showed, that in choosing Irwin Mitchell, I definitely made the right decision.
“I can’t thank Irwin Mitchell, Oliver and his team enough for what they have done for me and my family. Although I don’t know what the future may hold for me, at least I don’t have to worry about our finances again.”
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.
Lynne Squibb from HASAG said:
“It’s important to HASAG that anyone affected by asbestos disease has the opportunity to use this service and receive ongoing support for them and their family. We were pleased to be able to support Nick and his family through our range of services including virtual support group meetings, free counselling and access to benefits.”
Visit the Asbestos support groups and charities:
If you or a loved one has suffered from an asbestos related disease, contact our team today on 0808 250 7720 to learn how we may be able to help.
Back to Client Stories