Thousands Recovered To Cover Cost Of Care Of Local Asbestos Victim
A local hospice has welcomed being presented with a cheque for over £7,500, after the costs of caring for a patient with asbestos-related disease were recovered by local lawyers.
Margaret Wood, 73 (known as Sandra to her friends and family) was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2016. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung commonly associated with exposure to asbestos and Sandra was told she had less than six months to live.
The mother-of-two and former youth hostel worker, passed away from the disease on 4 January 2017, having been cared for at St Leonard’s Hospice.
Her husband, David Wood, 79, instructed asbestos related disease specialists at Irwin Mitchell to investigate Sandra’s exposure to asbestos and the resulting case has made it possible for costs incurred by the hospice caring for Sandra to be recovered.
In 2010 Irwin Mitchell secured a landmark judgment which ruled that the insurers of a company responsible for the death of a worker from an asbestos-related disease should contribute to the cost of the care provided to the victim by the hospice. Irwin Mitchell has now recovered over £220,000 for hospices in 2020 alone, following cases where patients died from mesothelioma.
David, who now lives in Morecambe, said: “The whole family were all devastated when Sandra died and the family is still coming to terms with it. It was terrible how quickly she deteriorated and the hospice was an amazing help and comfort to us during that time. It means a lot to know that the costs of the essential care they provided to Sandra and I have been met.”
Expert Opinion“Mesothelioma is a devastating disease and in many cases the care provided by hospices is vital not just for the patient, but for the family too.
"The hospice performs a vital service for so many people in the region and it is a proud moment to be able to recover their costs in this case. It will help them support many more people like Sandra in need of end of life care. Nothing can bring Sandra back, but I know the recovery of costs for the hospice means a lot to David and the family.” Nicola Handley - Senior Associate Solicitor
A former youth hostel worker from York, Sandra worked at the Aysgarth Falls Hostel in Yorkshire with husband David from 1984 to 1990. Sandra believed her exposure came from working at the hostel, where the couple would undertake a variety of ‘do-it yourself’ jobs, from painting and replacing windows to removing Aga-type ovens, one of which was believed to contain asbestos.
Emma Johnson, Chief Executive at the Hospice, said: “We are grateful to Nicola and the team at Irwin Mitchell for their efforts on behalf of David and the hospice. The recovery of the costs in this case means that we can use that money to support other patients and their families during what can be a difficult time for all.”