Compensation for widow of mesothelioma victim

Compensation for widow of mesothelioma victim

The client’s claim

 

Mr S of Rochester, Medway, Kent had died of mesothelioma due to his asbestos exposure following over 40 years working for Seeboard as an electrician/engineer.

 

We were instructed to claim compensation by his 85 year old widow. Mr S had never made a statement about his employment/asbestos exposure history before he died. His widow and his daughter knew virtually nothing about his work history to help us prove liability.

 

Our approach

 

We wrote to Seeboard’s successors, UK Power Networks, to obtain Mr S’s employment records and then researched likely sources of asbestos exposure for someone doing the claimant’s job; an electricity board electrical draftsman. We identified power stations as his most likely asbestos exposure source. We met with Mrs S and her daughter to glean what further information we could and identified that Mr S may have disclosed more about his employment history to his (adult) grandchildren than either of them. Statements obtained from the grandchildren confirmed that after mesothelioma was diagnosed he had told them he had often had heavy unprotected exposure to asbestos from lagging at power stations at Kingsnorth and Littlebrook, Dartford between 1950s and 1970s.

 

This was especially from laggers disturbing asbestos lagging when he visited to check, measure and draw electrical equipment at the power stations. It seemed he did not tell his wife because he did not want to worry her in case she developed mesothelioma from having washed his asbestos dusty work clothes.

 

A full letter of claim was sent to UK Power on 15 June 2015, supported by witness statements, preliminary schedule of losses, extracts from medical and coroner’s records and employment documents. At the same time a consultant chest physician was instructed for an opinion based on the records.

 

On 23 June 2015 the defendants admitted negligence. A supportive medical report was received and a final schedule of losses prepared, totalling £187,000. These were served with supporting evidence on 7 September 2015 and an offer invited.

 

When no offer was made within 14 days, we chased and threatened court proceedings. When our deadline passed we prepared court proceedings. We sent these to the client to sign on 14th October, at the same time informing the defendants this was happening.

 

The next day 15th October they made an offer of £170,000.

 

The outcome

After further negotiations we settled Mrs S’s mesothelioma claim for £175,000 on 26 October 2015. We achieved this successful result just over four months after we sent the letter of claim, having been instructed initially after the victim’s death from mesothelioma with virtually no evidence to prove his widow’s claim.

 

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 and Medway. Jeremy can be contacted on 01622 680415 or at Jeremyhorton@brachers.co.uk.

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