Grandfather Says He Is Being ‘Robbed’ Of Family Life
A former council carpenter who is coming to terms with the dreadful news he has been diagnosed with a terminal asbestos-related cancer has won his battle for justice and received a six-figure settlement to help provide much needed financial security for his family.
Father-of-two Michael Brandon worked as a carpenter for North Hertfordshire District Council for three years from 1979, maintaining council buildings and houses where he regularly came into contact with asbestos.
The 69-year-old was diagnosed with a terminal lung disease mesothelioma caused by exposure to the deadly dust in July 2011, six months after he first started to experience symptoms of the illness, such as breathlessness and chest pains.
He instructed asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to help find answers about who was responsible. The firm has now secured a six-figure settlement on Michael’s behalf from North Hertfordshire District Council’s insurers, to provide his family with financial security in the future and for his pain and suffering.
The grandfather-of-five told lawyers his exposure to asbestos occurred when he removed damaged asbestos-based roofing and fire-resistant linings and then cut and fit the replacement asbestos sheets.
Michael, who lives in Letchworth Garden City with his wife of 38-years Diane, said: “I am so grateful to Irwin Mitchell for helping to secure this settlement which, as well as providing some care, will provide my family with financial security. It is at least some peace of mind to know they will be provided for when I’m gone.
“When we were told my diagnosis we just couldn’t believe it. Diane and I thought we had many more years together with our family, but I am being robbed of that. It is very hard to come to terms with.
“I have had chemotherapy and other treatments but I know there is nothing the doctors can really do. I just don’t want my family to see me suffer.
“I hope my case highlights the devastating impact asbestos can have on people’s lives. I was never warned of the dangers that the dust could pose despite most businesses being aware of the risks involved and I was never given any protective clothing.”
Joanne Jefferies, a specialist asbestos disease lawyer from Irwin Mitchell’s London office, said: “Michael and his family are understandably devastated by his mesothelioma diagnosis and desperately wanted answers about why it had happened.
“Although nothing can turn back the clock, we have secured a vital settlement from North Hertfordshire District Council which provides Michael with the comfort of knowing that his family are provided for in future. Through no fault of his own he was exposed to asbestos but he has now received some justice for the negligence he suffered 30 years ago.
“Asbestos is the biggest occupational killer of all time. So many people have suffered serious and terminal health problems due to the failure of employers to adequately acknowledge the dangers of working with the material and provide protective clothing.”