InsightsClient Story - Industrial Disease Claims - POSTED: November 11 2016
Mesothelioma asbestos compensation for cable engineer’s widow
We first met Michael and his wife Susan fourteen months after his mesothelioma diagnosis at our Medway asbestos compensation clinic. They were a lovely couple in their sixties, striving to keep a positive outlook despite Michael’s fatal mesothelioma.
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Michael from Rainham/Gillingham, Medway, Kent had been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure at Medway Hospital. We first met Michael and his wife Susan fourteen months after his mesothelioma diagnosis at our Medway asbestos compensation clinic. They were a lovely couple in their sixties, striving to keep a positive outlook despite Michael’s fatal mesothelioma. He still had no idea where he had been exposed to asbestos.
We obtained Michael’s full account of his 50 year working history and possible contact with asbestos leading to mesothelioma. We narrowed down his most likely source of asbestos exposure to when working as a cable install engineer in Medway council housing. However, Michael had no specific recollection of asbestos exposure. We encouraged Michael and Susan to check through their phone book and think of any old workmates who might recall asbestos exposure he had forgotten. He eventually identified Harry with whom Michael had worked for Radio Rentals in the 1960s in Medway. We obtained a full statement from him. He recalled two incidents in Medway where they had been exposed to asbestos dust from lagging made up by laggers working next to them in a basement where they were installing cabling. Michael recalled working in those Medway basements but not the asbestos exposures.
Radio Rentals had long gone but we traced their employer liability insurers. We met with Michael and Susan at their beautifully renovated Medway home (Michael had still been completing renovations when he developed mesothelioma). We advised Michael that if he deferred final settlement of his mesothelioma compensation claim for Susan to conclude after he died the claim would be worth significantly more. Sadly Michael’s health was now declining rapidly due to progressive mesothelioma.
In the November we sent the insurers a letter of claim supported by witness statements, a preliminary schedule of losses and medical records. We instructed a chest consultant to examine Michael at home. A further decline in Michael’s mesothelioma prevented any examination and sadly he died two weeks before Christmas.
Following the Inquest and funeral when Susan felt ready for it, we met with her at home with her son Andrew and obtained instructions to continue the compensation claim, including her account of Michael’s final weeks of his mesothelioma, resulting care needs and Susan’s loss of dependency. This was an unavoidably painful task for Susan but sadly a necessary one which we tried to deal with as sympathetically as possible.
Updated records were requested. We notified the insurers of the estate’s compensation claim in March. Within 5 weeks we had secured their admission and an interim compensation payment of £50,000.
After the records were received a supporting “desktop” medical report was obtained confirming death through mesothelioma from asbestos. We then met Susan and her son Andrew again at her home to obtain instructions and documents for the claim’s final schedule of losses, pleaded at nearly £350,000.
The medical evidence, schedule and documents were served in July and a compensation offer invited. After chasing a month later the insurers made an offer of £250,000.
Our advice was that Michael’s mesothelioma claim should be worth at least £300,000. Negotiations with the insurers led to their “final” compensation offer of £295,000. Susan was keen to simply accept. Respecting her wishes but determined to get a more appropriate settlement, on our advice she made her own “final” compensation offer of £300,000. This was made and accepted by the insurers on the same day, 4 weeks after their initial offer. As a mesothelioma client, Susan kept 100% of the compensation. Susan’s acting lawyer Jeremy commented: “Susan and Michael were a lovely couple and Michael’s life was cruelly taken early by the dreadful and preventable disease of mesothelioma. Of course, no amount of money could bring Michael back, but I was very pleased to see that justice was done to honour Michael and reflect what he’d suffered and make sure that Susan was properly provided for.”
It was a pleasure to work with Jeremy. He gave us the strength to pursue this matter. He is the ultimate professional and his friendly & sympathetic manner encouraged us every step of the way. Everything was explained clearly with a very professional but friendly approach- this was very important to us as a family.
Andrew, Susan & Michael’s son:
There’s doing your job and then there’s people like Jeremy who has done so much more than tick boxes and file paperwork. It’s not hard to see why Dad put his trust in him to fight his corner. A refreshing change for a legal matter to be something more than red tape, a faceless entity, and a large bill. The personal touch made all the difference and I’m sure Dad would be satisfied with the outcome. Its been difficult process at times, but I’m glad we had someone like Jeremy on our side.
A few weeks after the settlement Susan turned up at one of our asbestos compensation clinics just to give Jeremy a big hug to say thank you!
This mesothelioma compensation claim was dealt with by Jeremy Horton, a Solicitor and Partner in the firm, specialising in mesothelioma and other asbestos compensation claims in Kent, Medway, Essex & beyond. Jeremy is passionate about helping asbestos disease victims and their families achieve fair compensation as quickly as possible. He is the only APIL Accredited Occupational and Asbestos Disease Specialist solicitor in Kent, Medway, Essex, Surrey or Sussex. Jeremy can be contacted on 01622 680415 or at JeremyHorton@brachers.co.uk.
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