Settlement of multi-defendant asbestosis compensation claim

The glazer's story

Settlement of multi-defendant asbestosis compensation claim

We successfully acted in an asbestos compensation claim for Eddie, a former glazer/roofer/construction worker, against 5 former employers. He was diagnosed with moderate asbestosis due to unprotected asbestos exposure by at least 10 different employers over about 40 years. The conditions/type and period of employment/asbestos exposure varied widely.

Our approach

This was a complex asbestosis compensation claim because:

  1. You need to prove a high level of asbestos exposure to trigger asbestosis and Eddie was exposed to asbestos by numerous employers in different situations.
  2. Compensation can only be obtained to the extent that solvent paymasters can be traced and Eddie’s previous employers’ solvency status varied.

A very detailed initial witness statement was obtained from Eddie for his asbestos compensation claim and full letters of claim were sent to each identified defendant who initially denied and raised different issues, including denials of fault, queries over cause of injuries and disputing the compensation claim’s value. Further evidence was obtained to address the issues raised.

Dr Beckles provided a supporting medical report, confirming asbestosis due to Eddie’s asbestos exposure which had caused significant disability leading him to stop working as a part-time taxi driver. There was however found to be some contribution from non-asbestos factors. The medical evidence had to be updated because Eddie’s asbestosis deteriorated, forcing him to give up his taxi driving altogether.

We issued High Court proceedings claiming compensation for asbestosis with all pleadings prepared by us without the need to involve counsel.

The defendants put in different defences, including limitation i.e. that  Eddie should have known he had asbestosis some years earlier. Further evidence was obtained to address that defence. We obtained summary judgment against the defendants on fault for the asbestos exposure and striking out the limitation defences, but the cause of injury and value remained issues. The defendants were permitted to instruct their own medical expert. When they failed to do so, we agreed to give them further time but only if they accepted they must disclose the report by a new date or be debarred from using it. We secured Eddie an interim compensation payment of £18,000 and a trial date was fixed. The defendants agreed they would be responsible for 72% of the value of his asbestosis claim (after deducting uninsured periods).

The defendants served their medical report several days late. That report agreed Eddie had asbestosis but disputed the degree of disability and loss of earnings. We successfully opposed their application for relief. The claim therefore now proceeded with Dr Beckles as the only medical expert.

Settlement of the claim was reached shortly before the pre-trial conference.

The outcome

The defendants initially offered £25,000 for Eddie’s claim for asbestosis compensation. On our advice Eddie stood firm, rejecting various offers before making his own offer of £94,200. The Defendants initially rejected this but on our advice Eddie still stood firm and eventually his offer was agreed by the Defendants.

The Lawyer

This claim for asbestosis compensation was dealt with by Jeremy Horton. He is a Solicitor and Partner in the firm, specialising in 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 by email or on 01622 680415.