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Home > News > Mesothelioma compensation for widow of lagger

16th March 2009

Mesothelioma compensation for widow of lagger

When our client’s husband was diagnosed with the fatal asbestos-related disease mesothelioma, his serious condition caused him to reject making a claim, as he felt too unwell to proceed. Sadly, only in his sixties, he passed away without being able to secure his widow’s financial security.

Some time later, his widow asked for our asbestos-related compensation claim advice and we were able to proceed with a claim for the loss of her husband whose life had been cut short by many years.

Compensation for asbestos exposure

Although her husband had only worked as a lagger for a few years at the start of his working life, he had been employed by several companies who had all negligently exposed him to asbestos on a daily and routine basis.

One of these had been the T&N Group of companies who, despite being placed in administration in 2001, had negotiated a scheme to pay compensation to eligible T&N asbestos claimants.

Under this scheme our client was offered compensation of over £40,000, which our specialist asbestos-related lawyers felt was a correct valuation for their contribution towards the total claim. This offer was accepted by our client whilst we continued to pursue compensation from the other defendants.

They refused to accept liability and our specialist personal injury lawyers were forced to issue court proceedings. Before trial however, we were able to negotiate a satisfactory settlement and our client was awarded a further substantial sum in asbestos-related compensation.

Symptoms of mesothelioma

Our client’s husband began to suffer breathlessness, coughing and chest pain some two years before his eventual death. After a few months of tests he was advised that he was suffering from malignant mesothelioma and that there was no cure. Only in his early sixties, this was a devastating blow to the whole family and to try to alleviate his suffering, he underwent several painful procedures, which although eased his condition in the short-term, could not provide a cure.

His treatments included draining of his chest and invasive investigations but he was made aware of the terminal nature of his condition. Increasingly breathless, and in some considerable pain, he spent several periods in hospital but eventually came home where his wife cared for him until his death.

Exposed to asbestos dust and fibres

Although employed for only a few years as a lagger, like many workers exposed in this way, his work required him to mix asbestos dust with water and use this paste to lag pipework. They had to tip large bags of asbestos into a tray, causing vast amounts of dust to envelop him and his colleagues. A witness who was also exposed to asbestos, has likened them to snowmen, absolutely covered in asbestos dust.

Our client has also confirmed that when her husband came home from work, she would make him take his overalls off outside and put them straight in the wash.

At no time was her husband warned about the dangers of exposure to asbestos, or the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases such as the fatal mesothelioma. No protective equipment such as masks or breathing apparatus was provided. Often they worked in confined spaces where no ventilation equipment was installed, forcing him to inhale the deadly dust and fibres.

In most cases there were no canteen facilities so breaks and meals were eaten in this same dusty environment.

Breaches of Regulations

Our specialist asbestos-related lawyers fought and won this case on the basis of substantial breaches of several regulations and failure to act on expert advice available to them at the time of the exposure to our client’s husband. These regulations included:

These breaches included failing to keep the place of work in a clean state and free from asbestos dust; failing to ensure and maintain the circulation of fresh air; failure to protect against the inhalation of dust and failing to provide any or adequate breathing apparatus.

Mesothelioma compensation claims

If you or a family member is suffering or has suffered an asbestos-related disease, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers.

Alternatively, a representative will contact you as quickly as possible if you complete one of our on-line compensation claim forms.

Clear Answers’ teams of experts in asbestos-related compensation claims are waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you. We will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, to answer any questions you may have regarding your claim and to talk you through the claims process in plain English. Our specialist lawyers have a reputation for obtaining the maximum compensation for people who suffer from an asbestos-related disease as a result of negligence by the employer.

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