Mesothelioma is often thought of as an old man’s disease. Statistically, this is accurate as it does affect more men than women and is more prevalent in people over the age of 60.
Mesothelioma is often caused by people being exposed to asbestos in the construction industry in the past. However, mesothelioma can affect anyone who has been exposed to asbestos and it doesn’t take heavy exposure to put someone at risk. Importantly, even brief exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma.
Ms Wharton’s exposure
In May 2018, Rose Wharton lost her fight with mesothelioma at only 33 years old. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2017 and had been fit and healthy before being diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer.
Most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma have some idea about where they have been exposed to asbestos. The majority of people have worked with the asbestos in their earlier life. However, Ms Wharton, like many of the people that we speak to, was entirely unaware of having been exposed to asbestos. Her family suggested that she may have been exposed whilst working during her gap year to build a school in Argentina.
The coroner for Oxfordshire, Darren Salter, highlighted the rare nature of Ms Wharton’s case saying; “I don’t think I have seen a case like this…mesothelioma normally affects men working as plumbers or heating engineers for 30 or 40 years, but this is very different from that.”
In cases such as this, where the origin of the exposure to asbestos cannot be identified, there is no civil asbestos compensation claim available. However, there is a Government scheme in place to provide some form of financial assistance. The Mesothelioma 2008 scheme provides compensation to those diagnosed with mesothelioma who are unable to show where they were exposed to asbestos. The scheme also provides compensation if the person was not exposed to asbestos through work and are unable to make a civil claim for asbestos compensation.
How can we help?
If you require assistance in pursuing a mesothelioma claim or believe you have a valid asbestos claim 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.