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Home > Our Clients' Comments > Shipyard Plumber Exposed to Asbestos

Shipyard Plumber Exposed To Asbestos

Referred to us in June 2003, our client had been diagnosed with mesothelioma. We immediately attended on him at his home to take a statement of his evidence. His only exposure to asbestos arose when working as a shipyard plumber. Following our attendance a claim was made and we instructed a medical expert to report on our client's condition. The insurers made no response to the claim and proceedings were issued seven months after his initial referral. No response to the claim form was received so Judgment in Default was obtained. At that point, the insurers instructed solicitors to act for them.

A dispute arose as to whether the insurers were entitled to deduct from our client's claim the excess on the insurance cover that would have been payable by the shipbuilders had they still been a solvent, trading company. The insurance company argued that the excess was deductible for each year that he had been exposed to asbestos whilst employed by them but we argued that the excess could only be deducted once.

The matter proceeded towards trial in the absence of a satisfactory offer in settlement. A month before trial the Defendants made an offer to settle the claim for £78,000 net of excess, 79 Act payment and CRU. This offer was rejected by the Claimant and we advised him to make a counter offer of £82,828 net. This valuation allowed for the excess to be deducted only once. The Defendant accepted the counter offer and the claim settled two weeks before trial, approximately 13 months after the original referral.

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