We have recently succeeded in a complex, high-value asbestos claim for Mr G who was sadly diagnosed with asbestos-related diffuse pleural thickening. Sadly, Mr G was exposed to asbestos whilst working for Frank Bird (Builders) Limited. Continue reading to learn more about how he was exposed, and how we got him this well-deserved compensation.
Mr G was employed by the building company as a bricklayer and general renovator from 1978/1979 to November 1988. Whilst Mr G was ‘nominally self-employed’ from 1986/87 to November 1988, we obtained evidence that confirmed that Frank Bird Limited treated him as an employee during this time.
Mr G recalled working at a boathouse in Tewkesbury for a few weeks in 1983, where an upstairs storage area was being turned into a flat. The walls and ceilings were lined with asbestos sheeting. Mr G and his colleagues used crowbars, hammers, and shovels to smash and remove the sheets. This caused a large amount of asbestos dust and fibre to be released. At the end of the day, Mr G and his colleagues would dry sweep the asbestos dust and debris, which caused clouds of asbestos dust to billow upwards.
On another contract, Mr G worked on a flat roof in Aston on Carrant, where he fitted asbestos tiles to create an elevated patio area. He used a circular saw to cut through the asbestos tiles, which released large amounts of dust. Again, dry sweeping the dust up at the end of the day caused further exposure.
Throughout his employment, Mr G would work on garage roofs made from asbestos sheets, which he would have to cut through, handle and fix.
Finally, Mr G recalled working with asbestos rope whilst at the company. This was used as a packing material when building fireplaces. Mr G would cut the rope to size, which would release asbestos dust into the atmosphere, and push it into the gaps around the fireplace. Mr G undertook this work around twice a year for over ten years.
We obtained expert evidence from a well-respected respiratory physician. He confirmed that Mr G had developed serious, asbestos-related diffuse pleural thickening because of his exposure. This supported his claim for asbestos compensation. Frank Bird’s Solicitors sought to rely on the evidence of another respiratory expert in an attempt to argue causation in the asbestos claim. However, this did nothing but support Mr G’s claim for pleural thickening compensation further. Both experts agreed that Mr G has a total cardio-respiratory disability of around 60%. They agreed that more than one factor contributes to this disability.
Overall, the experts agreed that Mr G faced a reduction in his anticipated life expectancy of 3 years due to his pleural thickening.
Impact on employment and earnings
This high-value, pleural thickening claim was complicated further by the fact that Mr G worked as Managing Director for his own successful windows and doors business before falling ill. Initially, Mr G felt that he was no longer capable of manual work and, because his stamina had been significantly reduced, he began to work shorter hours. Eventually, Mr G had to make the difficult decision to give up his role. Therefore, a significant sum of asbestos compensation was claimed to cover his past and future loss of earnings.
Expert accountancy evidence was obtained by both sides to consider this issue further. The two experts provided very different opinions as to the amount of compensation which should be received for this part of the asbestos claim.
We arranged a joint settlement meeting in January of 2017 and, after much negotiation, settled for the sum of £475,000.00. This money will protect Mr G’s retirement plans, which have effectively been accelerated by 10 years due to the development of pleural thickening. We settled the claim on a provisional damages basis, which leaves the door open for Mr G to claim further compensation should he develop asbestos-related mesothelioma and/or a significant deterioration in his asbestos-related pleural thickening.
Mr G’s feedback
Mr G kindly prepared a review of our service following his successful asbestos compensation claim and said:
“Prior to my mid-fifties, I have always been an active man, so you can imagine how devastating it was to be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. It really does make you think that your luck had ran out, but mine was soon reinstated when I chose Asbestos Justice (Oliver & Co Solicitors) to take on my case. I could easily have chosen any solicitor from Google, after all they never say “our services are ok but not the best”. My luck really was with me when I chose the company as they were absolutely superb. If you need a solicitor to fight for your rights, then I strongly recommend this company. Without doubt they were professional, friendly, understanding, true to their word, informative of the situation of the case and they do right by you and not their profit! Thank you Asbestos Justice (Oliver & Co Solicitors) and especially James Cameron and his team for winning my case with the best financial outcome for my family and I.”
How can we help?
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos claim for pleural thickening or for any other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.