Money Will Help Fund Future Care Needs And Medical Treatment
A former shop worker battling terminal cancer is warning of the dangers of asbestos after being exposed to the material while working at Boots.
Mum-of-two Lynne Mitchell, of Poltimore, Devon, has mesothelioma - a form of cancer which usually develops decades after exposure to asbestos.
Following her diagnosis, the 62-year-old instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether her illness was linked to working as a make-up consultant and supervisor at the Boots store on Exeter High Street between 1974 and 1986.
Following legal submissions, Boots UK Ltd admitted liability for Lynne’s illness. Irwin Mitchell has secured Lynne a six-figure settlement. The money will help fund Lynne’s future care needs as well as potential medical treatment, including immunotherapy, which is generally unavailable on the NHS except through clinical trials.
Expert Opinion“Lynne’s case vividly highlights the terrible legacy that asbestos has created. While some people may commonly associate asbestos with traditional, heavy industry, its use was widespread in public buildings such as shops, offices, schools and hospitals.
“What makes Lynne’s case more shocking is the relatively young age at which she was diagnosed and that the risks associated with even low level asbestos exposure should have been known by employers at the time of her exposure.
“Despite her diagnosis Lynne has remained positive throughout and has shown a real determination to make the most of life. This has helped her surpass medical expectations as far as prognosis is concerned.
“The case to ensure Lynne received a settlement that reflected the impact her illness has had and her future needs are met was complex. While nothing can make up for what has happened we’re pleased to have secured her the justice she deserves.
“We hope that the settlement will provide Lynne with peace of mind that her future care and treatment needs will be met.” Laura Wilkinson - Solicitor
Lynne has two sons, James and Charlie, with husband Lawrence, age 62, and two grandchildren. Then called Lynne Tucker, she left school aged 16 in 1974 to join Boots as a make-up consultant.
It is believed she was exposed to asbestos dust when building work to extend the store into adjoining empty shops took place in 1975.
Lynne and Lawrence moved to France in 2007 to fulfil his dream of running a farm.
At the start of 2016 Lynne started complaining of pain in her side which continued for many months. The following June she sought medical advice after losing weight and, following tests, she was informed of her diagnosis aged 59.
Following her diagnosis Lynne underwent seven rounds of chemotherapy. The couple were forced to sell their farm at a reduced price and moved back to Devon to be near their sons.
Recalling her time at Boots Lynne said: “The building works lasted approximately six months and despite the workmen cleaning up regularly, the whole environment remained very dusty. It was important to create a good impression to customers and so I swept and dusted the make-up counters throughout the day.
Lynne, who is a member of the South West Asbestos Support Awareness Group, added: “My diagnosis was extremely hard to take and it definitely has had a huge impact on our lives. There was no way we could keep the farm going and having to sell up and leave our dream life behind was particularly difficult.
“There have been ups and downs over the last few years. However, I’m determined not to let mesothelioma beat me and have tried to continue as normal a life as possible.
“I’ve always been busy and try to remain as active as I can, particularly enjoying time with my young grandchildren.
“I’m in regular contact with my oncologist and am keen to explore different medical treatments that may be available, including immunotherapy.
“Knowing that this settlement means my future needs are taken care of is a huge relief.
“I hope that by speaking out people realise how dangerous asbestos is and how important it is for employers to protect their staff.”
Find out more about our expertise in supporting people following a diagnosis of mesothelioma at our dedicated asbestos-related disease section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.