Powerful settlement agreement secured for victim of asbestos related mesothelioma guarantees payments for future care
Justice has been reached for a victim of mesothelioma caused by historic exposure to asbestos in the workplace, after his case was pursued by the specialist Asbestos Disease Team at Hodge Jones & Allen.
Stephen Goodwright received compensation for the serious impact of the cancer, developed as a consequence of negligence by his past employers.
Stephen worked as a Maintenance Fitter at the Ford Motor Company plant in Dagenham, Essex between 1975 and 1985. He was exposed to large quantities of asbestos dust during his work. Stephen wasn’t supplied with the appropriate respiratory protective equipment to prevent the inhalation of dust.
The lack of protection for Stephen happened despite the dangers of asbestos being common industry knowledge from the 1960s onwards. Due to the nature of asbestos exposure, it was not until years later that the consequences of his employers’ neglect became clear.
Over 30 years after Stephen left the Ford Motor Company, he started to suffer a shortness of breath and after consulting his GP and undergoing medical investigations, he received the devastating diagnosis of mesothelioma.
The long period between exposure to asbestos dust and the onset of the condition can leave victims worrying for decades about their health and for those victims where the disease does develop, it is devastating. However, after making contact with the London Asbestos Support Awareness Group, Stephen was able to access support and pursue justice. He decided to use the specialist legal expertise at Hodge Jones & Allen.
The team at Hodge Jones & Allen used their many years of experience in the area of asbestos and workplace negligence, and secured an excellent compensation package for Stephen.
The team’s powerful presentation of Stephen’s case prompted Ford to admit legal blame. Hodge Jones & Allen secured a settlement that included an agreement from Ford’s insurers that, should Stephen’s doctors recommend private treatment in the future, they would meet the cost.
This agreement was subsequently activated, and Stephen has been receiving life-changing immunotherapy treatment as a result. He has received numerous cycles of this treatment to date, with medical costs amounting to over £200,000 as at January 2022 and continuing to increase. Thanks to the settlement, Stephen has the peace of mind that he can access the treatment he deserves without being out of pocket.
Stephen knows he will never be completely free from his illness. However, he has managed to achieve some semblance of normality because of access to privately funded immunotherapy treatment made possible by the legal settlement his lawyer secured for him.
Stephen is progressing well with his treatment. He has few symptoms now and is able to continue with many activities he enjoyed before he became ill, for example attending the gym.
All too often, the complexity of mesothelioma means that treatment costs are indeterminate; true compensation must encompass this unknown cost, particularly as the costs can be significant as demonstrated by Stephen’s medical costs to date.
On his treatment, Stephen said: “Immunotherapy has given me hope and allowed me to return to a relatively normal life. Nothing can compensate the shock and distress my diagnosis caused, but the treatment costs guarantee obtained as part of the settlement agreement has allowed me a new lease of life. This would not have been possible without Hodge Jones & Allen’s excellent, specialist experience, which recognised the necessity of this security to the mental and physical wellbeing of victims. My quality of life would be very different if I wasn’t receiving the treatment”
Lorna Webster, Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, welcomed the success of Stephen’s treatment and commented: “It is a joy to see Stephen thrive after undergoing the treatment that the settlement package included for him. At Hodge Jones & Allen we understand the distress caused by illness due to an employer’s negligence. It is our primary goal to minimise this distress by ensuring claimants have a smooth legal process and that the right settlement package for each individual client is obtained.
“It is vital that settlements include treatment payment guarantees and it is something Hodge Jones & Allen will always seek to ensure in appropriate mesothelioma cases. If you are experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath and you may have been exposed to asbestos dust, it is vital that you speak to your GP as soon as possible and have the symptoms investigated. Prompt diagnosis of mesothelioma will allow more treatment options to be available, including the privately funded immunotherapy treatment.”
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