Local Hospices Benefit From £500,000 Towards Care for Asbestos Cancer Victims
A local law firm has passed a major milestone by recovering over half a million pounds for local hospices to cover the cost of care provided to patients with asbestos-related disease.
The Leeds office of Irwin Mitchell has now recovered over £517,337 for various hospices who have cared for their clients with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
The milestone was passed by recovering over £9,000 for St. Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington in respect of the care they provided to Frederick Smith (known as Tom) following his diagnosis with mesothelioma on 14 February, 2019.
Tom from Thirsk, passed away on 21 November 2019 aged 75, just a year after first developing symptoms. Before he died, Tom and his family instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he developed the illness. Following his death, his wife Sheila, 75 and daughters Alison Humphreys and Nicola Smith continued his search for answers.
The legal experts subsequently secured a settlement from the insurers of ICI in Billingham, after it was found his exposure to asbestos most likely took place during his employment there from 1968-1978.
Tom’s case follows several others over the past year that have seen hospices who cared for the victims of asbestos reimbursed for their vital care work, with funds that will enable more patients and their families to be supported in the future.
Lucy Andrews, the specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who supported Tom and his family recovered a further £13,500 for Wakefield Hospice in respect of the care given to Anthony Karle from Methley, who died from mesothelioma in June 2019. A further £6,941 was recovered by Lucy’s colleague Oliver Collett for St. Gemma’s Hospice in Harrogate for their care of Janis Balodis from Moortown in Leeds, who passed away in August, 2018.
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.
Expert Opinion“To recover over £500,000 for hospices who have cared for our clients and their families at such a difficult time is a vital part of our work. We’re delighted to have been able to help in Tom’s case.
“Hospices perform an important role in delivering end of life care and we know it means a lot to the families to ensure hospices should not be out of pocket as a result. The recovery of these costs is a way for the families to show their support and means others will be able to benefit from the same high standard of care in the future.” Ian Toft - Partner
Tom’s wife, Sheila, said: “Tom was a wonderful father, grandfather and husband and we all miss him every day.
“Towards the end Tom needed looking after 24 hours a day and was initially admitted to the hospice for pain management. He was very confused due to the medication and the staff were a wonderful comfort and support.
“While nothing can bring Tom back to us, at least we know he was in good hands at the end. Their support was a lifeline for us and it’s good to know that Irwin Mitchell have been able to recover the costs of care they provided.
“Lucy was both professional and friendly and kept me informed every step of the way. It was a very traumatic time, so it was a comfort to know any query I had would be dealt with quickly.
The hospice deserves every penny and I’m sure it will be put to good use to help others in their care.”