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Lawyers Secure Funds For Hospice After Asbestos Cancer Care

Widow Praises Hospice For Treatment Her Husband Received As Leeds Hospice Receives Crucial Cash


Leading asbestos lawyers have been able to recover a vital settlement of £30,000 for a Leeds hospice to cover the care costs incurred while a man suffering from an asbestos-related illness was treated in the final months before his death.

Len Boaden died aged 67 of mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer in October 2010 leaving his widow Gloria, his two daughters and his four grandchildren heartbroken.

The family continued a fight for justice on his behalf with specialist asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to find out why he was exposed to asbestos and to help provide for his family after his death.

As part of the claim lawyers have been able to recover £30,000 for St Gemma’s Hospice to help cover the costs of treatment and care he received while staying at their premises in Leeds.

St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds provides specialist medical and nursing care for people with life threatening illnesses, predominantly cancer, along with support for their families.

This case follows the landmark ruling in 2010 led by Irwin Mitchell that which found that a company responsible for the death of a worker from asbestos should contribute to his hospice care costs and a settlement was agreed.

Len was an electrician and was exposed to asbestos during the course of his duties at the Joshua Tetley Brewery in Leeds.

Len was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in October 2009. He received care on and off from June to October 2010 at St Gemma’s Hospice where they tried to help stem the pain he was suffering and make him as comfortable as possible.

His widow, 70-year-old Gloria Boaden of Leeds, said: “It was heartbreaking watching Len suffer from such as horrible illness.

“We first noticed something was wrong at the end of July in 2009 when Len & I were on holiday in Bournemouth. Over the next couple of months his breathing was getting worse and worse and he was having trouble sleeping. The day we discovered his diagnosis was just soul destroying.

“But throughout his final few months the staff at St. Gemma’s were absolutely fantastic and we are just so pleased that Irwin Mitchell were able to help recover the costs so that they can continue to provide such a good service for others.”

Ian Toft, a specialist asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office who represented the family, said: “This is a very sad case and the whole family has been left devastated by Len’s death. As part of the case we were able to help recover costs for St Gemma’s which is a relatively new development in asbestos cases.

“I would hope that this would encourage other individuals to try and recover hospice costs wherever possible, as clearly all sources of income for hospices need to be explored in these difficult times. This settlement will just cover the costs of the care Len received so donations are just as important as ever to be able to continue the fantastic support.

“Help the Hospices is Irwin Mitchell’s charity of the year so anything we can do to help them recover funds is crucial to helping them continue their excellent work for our clients.”

Gail Chapman, Fundraising Manager from St Gemma's Hospice, said: “We are pleased that we were able to provide specialist care and support to Len and his family at a very difficult time. Like all donations we receive, this settlement will be wisely spent on continuing to provide vital care, totally free of charge, for our patients and their loved ones. We are grateful to everyone involved for their support in this case.”