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Mrs W brings successful damages claim arising from husband’s industrial disease

In August 2019, Mr W died suddenly from mesothelioma, just two months after he had first become breathless, and days after he had been diagnosed with the disease.

His widow, Mrs W, instructed Hugh James to investigate a potential legal claim on her husband’s behalf. She was unsure where Mr W had come into contact with asbestos dust as he had died before he could provide detailed evidence as to the same, but a former work-mate was able to assist. The work-mate confirmed that he and Mr W had been extensively exposed to asbestos dust whilst working for a company named Drake & Gorham, installing electricity cables within service areas in hospitals.

Drake & Gorham is a dissolved company, but we were able to locate their previous insurers and we accordingly wrote to them setting out our allegations that Mr W had been exposed to asbestos dust whilst working there. Documentary evidence was provided confirming Mr W’s employment with the company together with a medical report linking Mr W’s exposure to asbestos at work with his development of mesothelioma.

Despite this, the insurers failed to respond for several months. Steps were accordingly taken to issue the case at court, and the insurers were advised of the same. At this stage, they made an offer of settlement. Following negotiations, the matter was concluded for a six figure sum in April 2020, just 8 months following our initial instructions. Although the sum received by Mrs W can never adequately compensate her for the loss of her husband, the money will ensure that she can remain in their home which Mr W had built for her, and relieve her of any financial concerns she might otherwise have had.

If, like Mr W, 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 Green


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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