InsightsClient Story - Personal Injury and Industrial Disease - POSTED: May 18 2020
Brachers settles mesothelioma case for six-figure sum
Brachers has settled a mesothelioma claim for a substantial six-figure sum on behalf of Steve Boniface, who sadly died after a two-year battle with the disease.
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Mesothelioma and asbestos specialist, Jeremy Horton took on the case while Steve was alive. Steve contracted fatal mesothelioma from working with Asbestolux boards as an apprentice bricklayer and carpenter for the Greater London Council (GLC) in the late 1970s.
While Steve was alive, he and Jeremy were interviewed on local radio and TV where Steve shared his story about his diagnosis. During interviews he was always keen to highlight the dangers of asbestos that still exist for builders and others working on properties containing old asbestos that was used up to the 1970s. He wanted to prevent another generation suffering mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases by taking greater care to avoid contact with old asbestos.
Case update from Jeremy Horton
Following his death at the age of 57, Brachers settled the claim for Steve’s estate and his dependent partner Dawn.
In order to settle the case after Steve’s death, I obtained final updated medical and inquest records. As expected, the coroner returned a verdict of death due to mesothelioma as an industrial disease.
I met with Steve’s partner Dawn at her home and got full instructions and documents concerning Steve’s finances in order to prepare a witness statement for her. These included: business income, expenses, and the very extensive DIY and other services he used to perform, details of the care Dawn provided to him before he died, other expenses incurred before he died and his funeral expenses.
Steve had been separated from his previous partner, Tracey, for many years and was on good terms with her, and they remained married. This meant the statutory bereavement damages claim had to be made for Tracey, not Dawn.
I instructed chest physician Professor Twort, whose report confirmed death through mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure from Steve’s work as an apprentice bricklayer and carpenter for the GLC. He also advised on Steve and Dawn’s life expectancy but for the mesothelioma.
It was necessary to involve a forensic chartered accountant to analyse Steve’s business records, accurately calculate his previous income from the business, and project what it would have been but for his mesothelioma and death.
Based on the factual evidence and expert reports I drafted a detailed schedule of loss including large claims for Dawn’s loss of financial and services dependency. Shortly after service the defendant admitted liability and made the standard requested damages interim payment of £50,000.
There was then a delay while the defendant obtained its own medical and accounting expert reports. Their reports were disclosed and there was then a joint discussion between both sides’ experts, and joint statements of issues were prepared.
A joint settlement meeting with the defendant and their solicitors took place at Brachers offices. This was attended by Dawn and the executor of Steve’s estate.
A mutually satisfactory settlement sum was agreed. The terms of that agreement restrict us from publishing the amount agreed but suffice to say it was a substantial six figure sum, which we considered fairly reflected the claim’s value and the respective valuation arguments on both sides.
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