25 February 2021 | Case Study | Article by Lauren Bull
Hugh James were instructed by Mr H following his diagnosis with asbestosis. Mr H was exposed to asbestos during the course of his employment with L Slack & Son Ltd who were one of the main producers of asbestos products in South Wales in the 1960s.
Mr H’s role involved cutting asbestos sheets, which he did day in, day out. Cutting the asbestos sheets was an extremely dust process and Mr H had no choice but to breathe in the asbestos dust produced. He cut between 5 and 6 tonnes of asbestos sheets a day. He was not provided with a mask.
Employers’ Liability insurance was located for approximately 40% of Mr H’s employment with the company. Unfortunately, L Slack & Son Ltd was in liquidation and there was no viable paymaster in respect of the uninsured period.
Mr H was deemed to have a 15% respiratory disability due to asbestosis, in addition to the respiratory disability he also suffered due to his emphysema. As a result of both conditions combined, his care needs were extensive.
Unfortunately, Mr H’s health deteriorated significantly to the point where he was put on end-of-life care. Hugh James issued court proceedings against the defendant due to lack of response from their insurer and proceeded to an urgent Case Management Conference. Minutes before the hearing, the defendant’s solicitor admitted liability in the claim and an interim payment of £20,000 was awarded to Mr H.
The matter settled not long after for £81,500 gross during Mr H’s lifetime.
Lauren Bull, Solicitor in the Specialist Asbestos team at Hugh James, said:
Mr H is such a lovely gentleman and was exposed extensively with L Slack & Son Ltd, which led him to develop asbestosis. It was a seemingly straightforward case, but the defendants were very unresponsive and we ultimately had to issue court proceedings to get them to respond. He also suffered from emphysema which meant that he already had a 35% respiratory disability, but we were able to argue that the additional respiratory disability caused by his asbestosis of 15%, meant that he required significant care as a result. Securing compensation of £81,500 gross was a great achievement for this gentleman, as usually a 15% asbestosis claim would achieve in the region of £30,000 - £35,000.
Clients, Mr H & Mrs H, said:
From start to finish, Laure Bull has been very knowledgeable, understanding and compassionate in her work. Always informing us of progress or hurdles, Lauren has been friendly and has a caring manner. She has been a fantastic representative for me and my family.