We were instructed by Mr J to pursue a claim for mesothelioma compensation after he received the devastating news of his diagnosis. He had been exposed to asbestos during his employment with one company, Sneath Electrical Engineers Limited.
Mr J had worked for Sneath Electrical Engineers Limited in the 1960s and 1970s, as an apprentice and later as a mechanical fitter. His work required him to visit various locations and carry out maintenance and repair work.
He recalled a particular job at a tea warehouse in Wapping High Street. He was required to work on the brakes of cranes. These were calliper breaks and Mr J had to replace the whole unit, including asbestos brake shoes. When he removed the brake unit, asbestos dust from the brake shoe was disturbed, the dust got onto Mr J’s hands and was released into the air so he could not help but inhale the harmful asbestos dust.
Mr J’s work also involved going into boiler houses to fit fuse boards for electricians. The boiler houses had asbestos lagged pipes and in many, the boilers were also lagged with asbestos. Often the asbestos lagging was in a poor state of repair and the boiler houses were very dusty places to work. As he went about his work, Mr J brushed up against the asbestos lagging, resulting in asbestos dust covering his overalls.
As Mr J wore overalls and these got very dusty, he would shake them to get the worst of the dust off at the end of each day. This caused the asbestos dust to rise up into the air once more, resulting in him breathing in more harmful asbestos fibres.
A detailed statement was taken from Mr J in support of his mesothelioma claim which confirmed that he also worked in factories during shutdowns for maintenance. Whilst he carried out his work, laggers were replacing asbestos lagging throughout the factory. Mr J regularly worked within a few feet of the laggers who were removing and replacing asbestos lagging. This made for a very dusty work environment and Mr J could not help but breathe in the thick asbestos dust in the air.
At no point during his employment with Sneath Electrical Engineers Limited was Mr J provided with any protective breathing equipment to prevent him from inhaling asbestos dust and fibres and we relied upon this as proof of negligence in the successful mesothelioma claim.
Although Mr J had been in his 20s and 30s at the time of his exposure to asbestos, due to the latency period of asbestos conditions such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural thickening, he did not begin suffering with symptoms of mesothelioma until he was in his early 60s.
Mr J was an active gentleman who was still working prior to his diagnosis. He helped his wife with chores around the house and did all of the house maintenance and DIY, until he began to suffer with breathlessness and lost a lot of weight. He went to his GP and was referred to hospital where it was found that he had a pleural effusion. This is a build up of excess fluid which accumulates in the space around the lungs, which can cause breathing problems.
Mr J underwent a procedure to remove the excess fluid but unfortunately, it kept on returning. He had the fluid drained six times before his medical team decided to take a biopsy. Sadly, the biopsy showed that he was suffering with pleural mesothelioma.
Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, there are treatments that sufferers can undergo to help alleviate symptoms. Mr J underwent a radical pleurectomy decortication. This is an aggressive surgery that involves removing the lining of the lung and then removing any tumours that are present within the chest cavity. Although this surgery is extreme, success rates in reducing symptoms are thought to be reasonable. Mr J also underwent a course of chemotherapy.
Our expert solicitors took a full statement from Mr J, detailing his employment history and onset of symptoms in support of the mesothelioma claim. After obtaining his full medical records and schedule of employment from the HMRC, a medical expert was instructed to provide a report in support of the claim. Due to Mr J’s condition and prognosis, he did not have to attend an appointment with the expert.
As with all mesothelioma compensation claims, we aimed to settle Mr J’s claim as quickly as possible, causing minimal fuss to him and his family.
Just nine months after developing the condition, our expert asbestos solicitors recovered £170,000.00 of mesothelioma compensation for Mr J.
Following settlement of the UK civil compensation claim, we assisted Mr J and his wife in putting claims forward to various US Trusts in an attempt to recover further mesothelioma compensation on his behalf. In the US, there are a number of companies that used to be involved in asbestos product manufacture and whilst they no longer deal with asbestos, claims for asbestos conditions threatened to bankrupt the companies. Therefore, Trusts were set up. This allowed the companies to continue to trade whilst providing a pot of money for those suffering with the devastating affects of exposure to asbestos.
Some people, although exposed to asbestos whilst working in the UK, may be eligible for a claim from a US Trust, if it can be shown that they were exposed to an asbestos product made by a US company.
In Mr J’s case, the US Trust mesothelioma claim was successful. In addition to the £170,000, UK mesothelioma compensation sum, he also received a further £7,000 from various US Trusts.
If you require assistance in pursuing a mesothelioma claim 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.