In February 2020, Mr A instructed Hugh James solicitors to investigate a claim for damages arising from his diagnosis with mesothelioma. Mr A had been exposed to asbestos whilst working as a carpenter for two companies; Oxley & Bennet and Pettits & Sons in the 1960s, during which time he was required to cut asbestos sheeting to size.
In view of Mr A’s limited life expectancy, we swiftly obtained copy documents confirming Mr A’s work history and diagnosis, and sent out letters of claim to the companies’ insurers, the companies themselves having been long dissolved.
Schedules were prepared calculating damages on both a living and a fatal basis. The potential case valuations were discussed with Mr A via the telephone, due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Mr A confirmed that his preference was to settle on a living basis. He provided a statement in support of the claims made, and both the lifetime schedule and quantum statement were served upon the insurers.
As neither insurer responded, steps were taken to prepare to issue this case at court with a view to ensuring that the matter was concluded within Mr A’s lifetime, in accordance with his wishes. Then, in July 2020, liability was eventually admitted and, following settlement negotiations, settlement was agreed at just under £200,000 in early August 2020, just 6 months after Mr A had initially contacted us and despite the difficulties posed by the ongoing covid-19 crisis.