Hugh James were instructed on a posthumous basis by Mr J’s family after the deceased sadly passed away from mesothelioma only a few weeks after diagnosis.
It was presumed that the deceased was exposed to asbestos whilst working at the BT factory in Cwmcarn, Wales. The deceased son and wife had both worked at the factory and were aware of incidences where the deceased had potentially come into contact with asbestos as a forklift truck driver.
The family were able to provide details of a former colleague, Mr E, who worked alongside the deceased. Hugh James approached Mr E who was prepared to provide a witness statement in support of the claim.
Mr E confirmed that the deceased had suffered low-level asbestos exposure on a number of occasions whilst working at the factory. The main incident arose when they were asked to manoeuvre their forklifts through an area where old pipework had just been cleared of asbestos lagged pipework by specialist asbestos removal contractors. The contractors had failed to dispose properly of the asbestos lagging which meant that asbestos debris and dust was left on the floor which they then drove through. The incident was raised with their union at the time.
Interestingly, Mr E had been diagnosed with diffuse pleural thickening and had previously been investigated for mesothelioma, however, the results were inconclusive. Hugh James took on a claim for Mr E on a pleural thickening basis and presented the same allegations to the defendant.
Mr E sadly passed away during the claim and no post-mortem was undertaken. Hugh James instructed a radiologist and a respiratory expert to provide reports. The experts confirmed that his scans and medical history were highly suspicious of mesothelioma. We were able to obtain the pleural fluid samples which Mr E had undertaken during his lifetime and these were sent for testing. The testing confirmed a loss of BAP1 was indicative of mesothelioma. Medical experts confirmed on the balance of probabilities, Mr E was also suffering from mesothelioma.
The defendant failed to admit liability in either matter. Proceedings were issued on Mr J’s claim first in order to progress the claim and put pressure on the defendant.
In the run-up to the Case Management Conference, the representatives for BT agreed to settle both cases and Hugh James were able to secure valuable settlements for both widows.