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21 July 2020 | Case Study | Article by Richard Green

Case Study: Damages following Mr P’s asbestos exposure whilst working at boarding school


Mr P was aged just 64 when he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in January 2016. Unlike many mesothelioma patients, he had never worked in heavy industry, or as a tradesman, but had instead spent his working life as a teacher and house-master at a boarding school in Somerset called Kings School.

As part of his house-master role, Mr P was required to see to the boilers when they malfunctioned, and he was also present within the school buildings whilst repair and maintenance works were carried out. He believed that it was within these areas that he was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres, and he instructed Hugh James to investigate a legal claim on this basis.

Hugh James obtained documents confirming that asbestos was present within the school buildings, and a medical report from an expert chest physician confirming that such exposure was the likely cause of his illness. Despite this, liability for Mr P’s illness was robustly denied by the school. Mr P sadly passed away before his case could be concluded and so his widow took over the claim on his behalf.

Still, the school denied responsibility and we were accordingly required to issue the case at Court in early 2020. Following the initial Court hearing in mid-2020, and prior to a suggested site visit to the school itself so that experts could investigate the premises more thoroughly, the school made Mrs P a six-figure offer of settlement. Relieved that the school had at last taken some responsibility for her husband’s illness, Mrs P accepted the settlement sum offered.

If, like Mr P, you have developed an asbestos related illness then contact Hugh James’ Asbestos Disease team today, as they may be able to help.

Author bio

Richard is a Partner and head of the asbestos litigation team. Richard specialises in asbestos-related disease claims and has recovered millions of pounds in compensation for his clients.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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