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Home > News > Personal Injury News

27th February 2006

Three generations from one family in Wales wiped out by Mesothelioma

Monday 27th February has been designated National Mesothelioma Day. On this day an Action Mesothelioma petition will be presented to 10 Downing Street by the British Lung Foundation.

In Wales, Mr Terry Tobin of Newport, Gwent has good reason to think about the consequences of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. His wife, Dorothy Tobin died from mesothelioma on the 7th May 2005. Her only exposure to asbestos occurred when, as a child in the 1950's; she used to sit on her father's lap when he came home from work at lunchtime. Her father worked at Newalls Insulation in Newport and she breathed in the fibres of asbestos attached to his clothes. Her brother, Jack Pottinger also worked at Newalls and he died from mesothelioma in 1999. Her father, Jim Pottinger also died in 1969 from an asbestos related disease believed to be mesothelioma. Her sister Beryl, who currently lives in Australia, also suffers from an asbestos related disease and her only contact with asbestos was also from her father's clothing.

Widow awarded £155,000 compensation

Valerie Jefferson's husband, Robert was exposed to asbestos lagging in the early 1970's when he worked for an engineering company replacing boiler systems for the Ministry of Defence. In 2002, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died on the 14th June 2004. She has this week received compensation in the sum of £155,000.

Specialist Personal Injury Solicitors

Mick Antoniw, a partner with Clear Answers' specialist personal injury lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors who represents Mr Tobin said today "Mesothelioma affects around 1800 people in the UK each year. Many thousands are affected by other asbestos related diseases including asbestosis and lung cancer. The number of fatalities is expected to rise each year for the next 10 years. This terrible disease has wiped out three generations of Terry Tobin's family. We support the British Lung Foundation campaign to improve awareness and better support for families affected by mesothelioma".

Terry Tobin said "Nothing can bring my wife back. I can only hope that this campaign will make people much more aware of mesothelioma and the suffering it causes. I hope that it will lead to further research which will improve early diagnosis and treatment".

Eamon McDonogh, head of Thompsons Wales Asbestos Team who represented Mrs Jefferson said "Mrs Jefferson is one of the growing number of widows in Wales who have lost their loved one due to mesothelioma. The compensation will never make up for this loss or the terrible suffering her husband went through because of this disease."

Show your Support for the British Lung Foundation's Charter

The British Lung Foundation Action Charter for Asbestos states that mesothelioma patients have a right to the following:

1. a speedy and accurate diagnosis, supported by a Multi Disciplinary Team discussion.
2. good quality information from a variety of sources available in different media and languages.
3. support of a suitably qualified nurse and other Multi Disciplinary Team members throughout their illness.
4. be considered for the best possible treatments available with the support and input of a Multi Disciplinary Team.
5. have up-to-date advice on benefits and help in applying for them, and receive prompt payment of benefits.
6. have legal advice and guidance from a firm of solicitors experienced in mesothelioma claims.
7. guidance on end of life decisions and care at home.
8. provision of a consistent nationwide service from coroners using a clear and open process with a maximum case length of three months.

And call upon the Government to:

9. have mesothelioma made a national priority by the Cancer Tsar.
10. fund good quality research, alongside other national bodies, on mesothelioma with a view to improving diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for patients.
11. support the production of clinical Guidelines on the best practice of diagnosis and management of Mesothelioma.
12. ensure the Health and Safety Executive vigorously enforce existing regulations on asbestos.

And call upon all employers to:

13. prevent future exposure to asbestos by providing a safe working environment with all necessary equipment to protect employees.
14. work with unions and individuals to ensure enforcement of current regulations to safeguard all employees.
15. identify all asbestos in their properties and organise its safe removal where practical or necessary when work is being carried out.

To read more about Action Mesothelioma Day or to show your support by signing the petition, visit the British Lung Foundation website.

If you or your family have been affected by an asbestos related disease and would like some advice about how to make a personal injury compensation claim contact Clear Answers. You can reach us by telephone on 0800 783 9019 or by completing one of our online compensation claim forms.

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