Woman Was Most Likely Exposed To Fatal Asbestos Dust And Fibres When Washing Husband’s Work Overalls
Legal experts representing the family of a Leeds woman, who died of asbestos-related disease, have recovered almost £15,000 of care costs for the West Yorkshire Hospice which supported her in her final days.
Rosalie Rathmell, who was born in Batley but lived in Rothwell, died aged 78 in November 2016 around 11 months after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with asbestos exposure.
Prior to her death, Rosalie instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how she developed the illness and her family are now continuing with a legal claim against Waddington Ltd after it was determined the exposure most likely occurred when she washed overalls that her husband wore during his work for the company between 1970 and 1998.
In the final months of her life, Rosalie received care and support from St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds and, as a result of a landmark case by Irwin Mitchell in 2010, the legal experts involved in her case have now secured funds from the insurer of Waddington Ltd which will reimburse the Hospice for looking after her.
The success means that Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office has now recovered more than £335,000 of hospice care costs across its cases to date, including over £66,000 for St Gemma’s Hospice which is celebrating 40 years of care in 2018.
Lucy Andrews, the asbestos-related disease specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office who represents Rosalie’s family, said:
Expert Opinion“This is another tragic example of the terrible impact that asbestos exposure can have not only on workers but also loved ones who come into contact with the material indirectly.
“Rosalie’s family have always been hugely grateful to St Gemma’s for the support they provided her with in the final weeks of her life and we are absolutely delighted to have helped the Hospice to recoup the costs related to her care.
“With many such organisations being reliant on donations and fundraising, reclaiming such costs are a generous way for families to be able to say thank you for the incredible assistance they received at a hugely difficult time." Lucy Andrews - Associate Solicitor
During her battle with mesothelioma, Rosalie attended the Day Hospice at St Gemma’s and was also given access to transport services. As her condition deteriorated she was then admitted to the In-Patient Unit at the Hospice.
Her son Shaun, 48, said: “Up until her illness developed Mum was very independent, so it was very difficult to see how mesothelioma affected her.
“St Gemma’s provided a fantastic level of support throughout the time she was with them and we will always be hugely grateful to them for their efforts to care for her.
“We are delighted that Irwin Mitchell has been able to recover these costs and we hope that it will help the organisation to continue to provide help to many more people in the same position across the coming years.”
Tara Bean, Individual Giving Manager at St Gemma’s Hospice said “We are incredibly grateful to the family for their support in recovering the cost of Rosalie’s care. This money will make a big difference, helping us to provide specialist nursing and medical care for other patients with incurable illnesses, as well as supporting family and friends during this very difficult time.”