Mesothelioma Sufferer successfully claims against three former employers following asbestos disease diagnosis
Garry Musgrove, 63, from Coulsdon, Surrey, has been awarded £390,000 in compensation due to asbestos exposure. In addition to the compensation, any necessary private medical treatment in the future will be paid for by the insurers of his former employers.
Garry first suffered symptoms of mesothelioma in June 2019 and was diagnosed a month later. Garry was forced to leave the job he loved in the Civil Service due to the mesothelioma symptoms. Almost 50 years after he was first exposed to asbestos, Garry successfully claimed against three former employers.
From September 1974 to 1977, Garry worked for Wisby Group Services Limited as an apprentice carpenter and joiner and was regularly exposed to asbestos fibres when working in hospitals, pubs, shop units and building sites.
From 1980 to 1982 he worked for Wood Hall Building Group Limited. He was exposed to asbestos when stripping out partitions in a large office block in Victoria, London, which took over two weeks to complete.
From 1982 to 1984 he worked for V.A.T. Watkins (City) Limited, then known as H Fairweather & Co (City) Limited. He recalls spending three to four weeks constructing a walkway on a construction site using old asbestos sheeting in a basement with no ventilation.
No masks or protective equipment were supplied by Garry’s employers. Decades after the asbestos exposure and despite the fact that the companies had ceased trading, the insurers of all three employers admitted negligent exposure and settled the claim.
The compensation covers various items including allowing Garry to recover lost earnings since his illness forced him to give up work, as well as helping to fund further specialist treatment that may be required in the future.
Garry worked with law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, who have a specialist team who handle only mesothelioma and other asbestos disease compensation claims, ensuring he got the justice he deserved.
Garry is keen to highlight that a compensation claim can be pursued even years after the asbestos exposure took place and even when the former employers are no longer trading: “When I first received the diagnosis it was an incredibly difficult time. I was no longer able to work, and I didn’t know what help was available to me. I knew I had been exposed to asbestos through multiple jobs, but you never think something like this will happen to you, particularly so many years later. These companies knew about the dangers of asbestos when I worked for them and yet we were allowed to work without any masks or protection – I feel so let down that I have this condition caused by my former employers. When I started to explore legal action, I didn’t even know if I could get compensation, as the work I did was so many years ago, and the companies I had worked for didn’t even exist anymore. However, I am glad I did look into it and I would encourage anyone who has been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease to seek legal advice from specialists such as Hodge Jones & Allen
“Lorna and the HJA team have been invaluable in my fight for justice, ensuring that my future healthcare is funded and that I am compensated for what I am going through. It’s so important to have specialist lawyers who know what they are doing because they have years of proven experience behind them in dealing with mesothelioma claims.
“I urge anyone who thinks they were exposed to asbestos and may be suffering symptoms of an asbestos related disease, such as shortness of breath and chest pain, to consult a doctor no matter how long ago the exposure to asbestos was, and then, if needed, speak to a specialist solicitor.”
Lorna Webster, a Partner and Asbestos Disease and Mesothelioma specialist at Hodge Jones & Allen who represented Garry, said: “Every day I deal with cases just like this, when, through no fault of their own, employees have developed mesothelioma after negligent exposure to asbestos. Garry’s case shows that stories like this are not isolated and asbestos-related illnesses are not a thing of the past – they are still impacting families across the country. People continue to be left with debilitating illnesses.
“However, Garry’s case also proves that there can be accountability, no matter how much time has passed. People who have been failed by past employers don’t deserve to be left out of pocket from lost earnings or medical bills – they deserve full compensation, justice and the best legal support possible. We encourage anyone displaying mesothelioma symptoms to speak to their GP, and anyone who has received a diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness to seek legal guidance without delay.”
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