17 August 2021 | Comment | Article by Lauren Bull
The Hugh James Asbestos team is running a virtual relay in support of several great charities and support groups which help people diagnosed with the asbestos related disease, mesothelioma.
These include Mesothelioma UK (as part of its #Moveformeso campaign), East of England Asbestos Patient Support Group (EEA PSG), The Mavis Nye Foundation, HASAG Asbestos Disease Support, South West Asbestos Support and Awareness Group (SWASAG) and Asbestos Awareness Support Cymru (AASC). These charities and support groups work tirelessly to support those suffering from or affected by asbestos related disease.
Since our last update, the Hugh James Asbestos team has now virtually travelled from Lydney to Oxford. The team has seen impressive growth over recent years and now has offices across the UK to include Cardiff, Southampton and London. We also now have staff based in Plymouth and Cambridge too. The specialist team is made up of a group of passionate and dedicated specialist lawyers who take pride in assisting those diagnosed with asbestos related conditions to bring claims for compensation, as a result of negligent asbestos exposure. The team assists those from all over the UK, regardless of where they are based.
For example, one of our specialist solicitors Lauren Bull, who is based in our Cardiff office, assisted a lovely gentleman from Oxford who was diagnosed with asbestosis in November 2018. Mr G contacted Hugh James at the end of 2018 following his diagnosis, to see whether the team might be able to investigate a claim on his behalf.
Mr G worked at the HM Dockyard in Plymouth in 1950s directly for the dockyard. Most of Mr G’s exposure came from his working full time in the engine rooms of ships where he would operate the machinery. Mr G would work close to asbestos lagged pipework and machinery in these engine rooms. He also worked for Union Castle Mail Steamship Company in a similar role.
From 1960 until 1990, Mr G worked for the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Mr G’s role involved maintenance of laboratories with radioactive materials, where he would occasionally cut up Sindanyo boards containing asbestos. Collectively, this exposure satisfied Lauren that Mr G met the legal levels required to bring an asbestosis claim and that he had been put risk of developing an asbestos-related condition.
As the claim progressed, representative for Union Castle Mail Steamship Company raised a blue water shipping argument. They said that the first official warning to ship owners concerning asbestos risks was 1977 in the Notice to Mariners, and that the company would have therefore not had any awareness of the risks of asbestos prior to then and had no duty to protect Mr G.
Hugh James raised counter arguments in response which meant that the defendant ultimately agreed to contribute towards final settlement. Hugh James successfully obtained a settlement for Mr G from all three defendants.
Lauren Bull, the solicitor in charge of this case, said the following “It was an absolute pleasure to act on behalf of Mr G. I was fortunate to meet him on several occasions to run through his claim certainly wasn't straightforward, and we had some hurdles to overcome, particularly in respect of the blue water shipping argument raised. However, I'm delighted to have been able to settle his claim. He is such a lovely gentleman who suffered negligent asbestos exposure during his working life and really deserve the compensation he was awarded”.
Mr G was delighted with the result, particularly as this was not a straightforward case, and said “From the first contact, and throughout the processing of my asbestos claim, I found the staff very helpful, lucid, clear and considerate. The communication was prompt and precise. Hugh James presented my claim in a legible way. I would highly recommend them”.
The team will now virtually travel across to Kettering where we will find out about some of the other successful cases the team have pursued.