Man Died From Negligent Asbestos Exposure
Company responsible for asbestos death must contribute to hospice care costs in landmark judgment.
Lawyers representing the family of a man who died from negligent asbestos exposure said today that ‘justice had been done’ as a landmark, High Court ruling found that the company responsible for his death should contribute to his hospice care costs.
In 1951 James Willson, 20, finished his National Service and went to work erecting new boilers at Deptford Power Station where he was regularly exposed to asbestos. More than 50 years on in 2006 he was diagnosed with mesothelioma* and sadly passed away in March 2007 after 23 days at St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney.
Caroline Pinfold from law firm Irwin Mitchell’s specialist asbestos related disease team represented the family, and said the judgment would provide comfort for many mesothelioma sufferers and their loved ones, and clarity for hospices providing them with terminal care.
The landmark judgment handed down by HH Judge Anthony Thornton QC at the Royal Courts of Justice found that the defendant Foster Wheeler Limited which employed Mr Willson when he was exposed to asbestos, should pay the costs for his care.
Caroline Pinfold said: “There is no doubt that justice has been done and that this landmark decision will be welcomed by the family of Mr Willson and other victims of asbestos related diseases, who rely on palliative care to relieve their suffering. It also now provides a legal basis for hospices to be repaid for the tremendously valuable work they do where their care has been needed as a result of someone else’s wrong doing.”