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Durham widow wins £90,000 in lung disease compensation payout

Asbestos lung disease compensation


A widow from Stanley, County Durham has won £90,000 in compensation following the death of her late husband from a crippling lung disease.

Eight-five-year old May Haslam's husband Arthur Haslam died aged 86 in February 2004 from mesothelioma, a form of terminal lung cancer caused as a result of asbestos exposure.

Arthur Haslam was exposed to the lethal asbestos dust while working as a storeman for aircraft manufacturer AV R in Oldham during the 1960s after leaving the army.

The company was subsequently taken over by Hawker Siddeley and then British Aerospace.

Arthur retired from British Aerospace in 1979 when he was sixty two in good health before moving to County Durham with his wife in the early 1990s.

A keen walker, Arthur Haslam was often seen out and about walking near his home in Stanley, County Durham.

Welcoming the award, an emotional May Haslam said: "The amount is far more than I dreamt I would ever receive.

"However, no amount of money can adequately compensate for the loss of my husband or what he had to endure.

"Arthur had been an active man until he began to suffer nasty chest problems in 2003. His sudden death was very painful and traumatic."

She also thanked the many former colleagues who had provided witness statements following a press appeal for people to come forward who had worked with Arthur Haslam.

"I'm grateful to the help from my husbands former workmates. Their support was invaluable.

"They came forward with vital evidence that enabled us to prove that Arthur's death was linked to asbestos exposure. This would've supported the claim had it gone to court."

The out-of-court settlement follows admission of liability by British Aerospace, which initially fought the claim.

The company denied that it was responsible for Arthur Haslam's exposure to asbestos, arguing that it had occurred while he was working for other companies before they took over.

Admission came after High Court proceedings were launched that would have meant British Aerospace disclosing documents relating to its acquisition of AV R and Hawker Siddeley.

The Newcastle-based office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell acted for May Haslam.

Asbestos lung disease lawyer

Industrial diseases legal expert Roger Maddocks at the firm's Grey Street office represented May Haslam.

He said: "Mr Haslam's exposure to asbestos dust took place decades ago and there is always a concern that many people who may be entitled to compensation do not pursue claims because they do not believe it would be possible to recover compensation.

"This case demonstrates graphically that it is, even though the original companies responsible for negligently exposing Mr Haslam has been taken over and ceased trading many years ago."

For further information contact Roger Maddocks at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or by email on roger.maddocks@irwinmitchell.com.