Defending Industrial Disease Claims Solicitors
Defending Asbestos Claims
Is your firm facing an asbestos disease claim? Are you unable to locate your liability insurers? Our specialist solicitors can help.
Why are asbestos diseases still so common?
The incidence of asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma is still continuing at its peak level in the South East. Nationally, asbestos-related deaths are expected to continue at about 5,000 a year during the 2020s. This is despite the fact that the use of asbestos products virtually ceased by the early 1980s. Unfortunately, these diseases (and the claims that follow) generally do not develop until at least 20 years after the exposure that caused them.
Asbestos exposure in the South East
A lot of the older headlines were about asbestos exposure by government dockyard workers and newer headlines have concerned school teachers/pupils. However, many workers employed by private businesses in the South East region were also exposed to this material. This included:
- Central heating installers and plumbers
- Laggers and insulation engineers
- Building trades like carpenters, decorators and electricians
- Boiler house operatives
Is there a defence?
Often there is no defence to an asbestos disease claim. In such cases, our solicitors will advise and assist you to settle the case as economically and quickly as possible. However, on occasions there may be a defence to such a claim, particularly in the following situations:
- Low-level exposure; especially in mesothelioma claims, sometimes the level of asbestos exposure causing the disease can be too low for the employer to be considered negligent at the time, especially before 1965.
- Causation; especially in lung cancer claims, the Claimant may fail to prove that his respiratory illness has been caused by asbestos exposure at all.
- Not your employee? The duties owed to employees and self-employed contractors can sometimes be quite different and there may be a defence if you can show the Claimant was genuinely not your employee.
Can we find your insurers?
Through our contacts within the insurance industry, our solicitors are often able to find insurers which the business cannot trace for themselves and so making the claim your insurer’s problem.
Experienced asbestos claims defence solicitors
Our solicitors are experienced in helping businesses deal with asbestos disease claims in the most costs effective way possible. Please have a read through some of our case studies highlighting some of our recent work.
If your business is facing an asbestos disease claim book a free 30 minute appointment to discuss your claim or call our specialist solicitors on 01622 680 430.
Case study - defending an international pharmaceutical and food manufacturer
We defended an asbestos-related lung cancer claim for the UK division of an international pharmaceutical and food manufacturer.
The claim was from an ex-employee of a south-eastern perfume/soap oil processing factory, who was allegedly exposed to asbestos from lagging of pipes/sills in the late 1950s to early 60s.
There were additional claims for earlier exposure by building employers and he was an ex-smoker.
We were instructed on the eve of the proceedings and identified likely breach duty but possible defences of causation (dependent on whether his exposure was above threshold to cause lung cancer) and contributory negligence.
We prepared and served a defence, not admitting breach and disputing causation and contributory negligence with a detailed request for further information regarding the claimant’s employment and exposure history. We traced the company’s insurers and before handing over to their panel firm, we contacted a former colleague who confirmed the claimant’s account and instructed our own chest consultant to advise on causation and damages issues.
Case study - defending a building firm in a asbestos exposure case
We successfully resisted a mesothelioma asbestos claim brought by a former building labourer/painter against a building firm unable to trace their insurers.
The claim was for alleged asbestos exposure from the use of artex in the mid-1960s. We obtained a detailed account from the director and office manager of the company that they never used artex, as this was reserved for specialists and not painters/decorators. We argued that the claimant must have confused our client with employment elsewhere, and encouraged him to divert the claim.
The claim against our client was consequently dropped.
Key Contacts - Defending Asbestos Claims:
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