Mrs J was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, at the age of 56 years. At the time of her diagnosis, she was still working but had to give up her job due to her symptoms, including shortness of breath and fatigue.
A friend suggested she pursue a mesothelioma compensation claim and Mrs J got in touch with Andrew Stinchcombe, a specialist asbestos disease solicitor from Novum Law’s Bristol office.
Andrew immediately got to work to investigate how Mrs J came to be in contact with toxic asbestos fibres. Her case was complex because he quickly realised that there was no obvious source of asbestos exposure.
Men are often exposed to asbestos because historically they have tended to work in traditional industries such as construction, shipyard work, railways, engineering, and other high-risk occupations. However, Mrs J had been office-based her entire working life.
Andrew started to investigate more than 10 companies where Mrs J had worked in the past, many of which had either ceased operations or gone into liquidation.
Asbestos in a bank building
A potential source of exposure to asbestos was identified at a large bank where Mrs J had worked as a bank teller back in 1980.
During this time, major renovations took place at the bank and Mrs J suspected she may have been exposed to asbestos dust there.
Andrew and his team obtained numerous planning documents from the local council, which confirmed there was indeed asbestos present in the building.
To build her case for mesothelioma compensation, Andrew had to prove the asbestos was damaged or disturbed during the renovation work and that Mrs J would have been exposed to significant quantities of deadly asbestos dust.
The bank’s insurers denied liability and refused to accept the bank (the defendant) was at fault for Mrs J’s terminal illness. Andrew obtained expert engineering evidence which was refuted by the defendant insurers.
Undeterred, Andrew and his team obtained several witness statements from former colleagues of Mrs J who had worked at the bank at the same time. The witness statements backed up Mrs J’s claims that there was a significant level of exposure to dust during the bank’s renovation period.
While Mrs J’s claim was ongoing, she made several trips overseas for specialist cancer treatment. Her private medical costs were included as part of her compensation claim.
Very sadly, Mrs J did not live to see her claim conclude successfully. She died during the course of her compensation claim, but the matter was continued by her husband, who was determined to get justice for his wife.
With the bank still refusing to accept liability, Andrew had no choice but to issue Court proceedings. However, shortly before the trial was due to start, the bank finally agreed to a six-figure settlement.
“We are increasingly being approached by women who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. One in six deaths from mesothelioma is now women – a figure that would have been unthinkable even 10 years ago.
“Asbestos exposure does not just happen in ‘blue collar’ industries. Women who have worked in schools, banks, council buildings, offices and even hairdressing salons are coming to us for help after getting a mesothelioma diagnosis.”
The numbers of women being diagnosed with mesothelioma is on the increase. To learn more about the causes and the importance of making a mesothelioma claim, visit our women and mesothelioma page.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, Novum Law’s team of specialist asbestos disease solicitors can help on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.
To find out more information, contact us on Freephone: 0800 884 0777 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.