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Case Studies & Illustrations

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.