Case Studies & Illustrations

Retired Electrician Mr L instructed Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors reading about the risks of lung disease caused by occupational exposure to asbestos.

He first suspected the link in 2014 when he was referred to hospital to investigate his shortness of breath and pain in his low back and ribs. At first Mr Lwas told that he had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), his doctor being unable to determine the cause. It wasn’t until Mr L made a detailed list of his previous working conditions and prolonged exposure to asbestos dust that the full extent of his exposure history was considered by his doctors and the chronic lung condition, asbestosis, was confirmed.

Mr L had worked for ICI’s chemical plant in Wilton for 26 years. During his long employment he regularly maintained the plant’s machinery, lighting and other electrical equipment. In the process he disturbed the asbestos-lagged piping which surrounded the electrics and causing the asbestos dust to become airborne in confined and poorly ventilated spaces. Mr L was not provided with any breathing protection or training about the dangers of asbestos and was unfortunately exposed to high levels of the deadly dust on a daily basis.

Isobel Lovett, Head of the Industrial Disease department at Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors took on his case and launched legal proceedings against ICI who were unable to admit or deny liability at the first show cause court hearing at which Mr L was awarded an interim payment. However, the judge in the case was satisfied that ICI had been negligent in failing to protect Mr L from the deadly hazard on the strength of Mr L’s detailed account of his working conditions.

Further medical evidence was obtained and through negotiations, the parties were able to agree a provisional settlement of the claim. A five-figure sum was subsequently approved by the Court. The advantage of having a provisional settlement is that in addition to recovering damages for the illness and its foreseeable effects, Mr L has the security of knowing that should his condition deteriorate further or should he develop another asbestos-related condition such as mesothelioma, he will be entitled to seek a further award from ICI.

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related lung condition or have been negligently exposed to asbestos at work contact Isobel Lovett at Hodge Jones & Allen on 020 7874 8502 or email

Mr N from Northamptonshire instructed Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors following a diagnosis of peritoneal malignant mesothelioma, a rarer form of the disease affecting the lining of the abdomen, caused by lengthy exposure to asbestos dust in the past at work.

Mr N was exposed to heavy amounts of the deadly dust by two former employers Saunders & Taylor Limited and Matthew Hall Mechanical Services Limited, between 1962 and 1997. He worked for the companies as a pipe fitter and was involved in removing asbestos-lagged pipework from inside old buildings and boiler houses for over a 30 year period.

Isobel Lovett, Head of the Industrial Disease Department, represented Mr N in his case. Isobel initially helped Mr N to secure a weekly payment of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and a lump sum payment from the Government.

Neither employer admitted liability. Consequently, proceedings had to be issued.

As Saunders and Taylor Limited had gone into liquidation, an urgent court application was made to prevent the company from being dissolved so that Mr N’s claim could proceed.

At the initial show cause hearing, where a judge decides if the employers have a real prospect of defending the case, judgment was entered against both Defendants on liability, based on the strength of Mr N’s evidence. Following this decision, he was awarded an interim payment of damages pending a final assessment of his case.

His claim initially included the costs of immunotherapy, a new form of treatment for mesothelioma not yet available on the NHS. Having been assessed for suitability for that treatment, Mr N decided that as his disease remains stable he did not require immunotherapy.

The case was concluded shortly before the final hearing with both sides making offers to settle. The Defendants accepted Mr N’s offer of a six-figure sum.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or have been negligently exposed to asbestos at work please contact Isobel Lovett at Hodge Jones & Allen on 020 7874 8502 or email

Isobel was instructed by a lady with mesothelioma who was unaware of asbestos exposure though her own work. It became apparent she had been exposed by washing her son’s work clothes. She died shortly after we met and I represented her family at the inquest. The son’s employer whose insurers denied liability were sued. They argued that asbestos products had been largely phased out and that they offered laundry facilities; therefore, any exposure to our late client would have been negligible. Isobel traced witnesses who refuted the insurer’s claim and having disclosed that, and preparing for trial, received a first settlement proposal. After further negotiations, her client accepted an increased settlement which they felt did some justice to their mother’s suffering.

Our client’s husband died from mesothelioma. She had instructed other solicitors to bring a claim against his former employers whose insurers denied liability and so, the case was turned down by them. We took the case on, issued a witness appeal and obtained evidence to prove exposure to asbestos at work with one of the employers whose insurers then conceded liability. No settlement offer was forthcoming so we issued court proceedings, obtained judgment for our client and an interim payment of £50,000. Shortly before the final hearing, Isobel negotiated a six–figure settlement, achieving an increase of £20,000 on the first offer made.

Isobel was instructed by a gentleman who had developed mesothelioma but was unsure where he had been exposed to asbestos. He had served in the merchant navy, not an engineer but in catering. Her enquiries revealed degraded asbestos lagging on steam pipes connected to equipment he used. He also maintained supplies on board, including asbestos products. This was a difficult claim as it involved low exposure levels but having initially denied liability following the issue of court proceedings, faced with my client’s evidence, the Defendant’s insurer capitulated and the claim was settled for a six-figure sum, out of court, during her client’s lifetime.

Isobel acted for a gentlemen who had been a joiner who, during his apprenticeship and with subsequent employers, had been exposed to asbestos dust and developed asbestosis as a result. He had machined asbestos board to make fire doors, replaced asbestos ceiling tiles, worked alongside laggers applying and removing asbestos insulation. We sued three of his former employers, one of whom admitted liability. After receiving the engineers’ reports, Isobel negotiated settlement with the remaining employers, settling the claim on a provisional basis for a five-figure sum for the effects of the condition to date, with the option to seek a further award if his condition deteriorates or he develops another asbestos disease, providing security against future risks.

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