Corries asbestos claims team have secured £155,000 compensation for a 75 year old woman who got the deadly asbestos cancer mesothelioma from washing her husband’s overalls.
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Asbestos cancer female – the sad facts
Mrs M had worked in offices and shops for most of her adult life. In autumn 2017 she started to suffer with breathlessness and pain. She had investigations and and was told that she had the asbestos cancer mesothelioma.
The doctors asked Mrs M if she was ever exposed to asbestos. At first she was not aware of any asbestos exposure.
After further thought she wondered whether asbestos exposure may have happened from washing her first husband’s overalls in the 1960’s. At that time he worked on the railways as a steam engine driver.
A local charity helped her secure a modest Government lump sum of just under £15,000. She thought this might be her lot but then put her mind to whether she could make a claim for compensation.
Mrs M contacted Corries by phone in July 2019 and explained her position. Our questions probed deeper into her asbestos exposure. We specialise in female asbestos cancer cases and this was very familiar to us. An example of our hard work is set out here https://www.corries.co.uk/oncetwice-and-three-times-for-a-lady-asbestos-cancer-victim/
We found out Mrs M had been divorced from her first husband for many years. Her ex husband was now living abroad.
Our team thought that the case needed investigating.
We gathered documents and ruled out exposure to asbestos elsewhere in her working or private life. Consequently we concentrated on this earlier work clothes exposure.
Asbestos cancer female case -our next steps
It was clear to us that evidence from Mrs M’s ex husband would be important. We worked with her and her family and made arrangements to see him when he visited the UK.
We sensitively worked through the history and the unfortunate implications of this man’s working life and how he had brought the deadly dust into the family home. With care he was able to give clear and robust evidence about his work on asbestos riddled steam engines and how he and Mrs M had been exposed to asbestos.
We quickly took and secured his witness statement.
Mesothelioma – the grim statistics
Almost all people assume mesothelioma is a male disease. Most noteworthy this is because it is generally workers in lagging and construction and heavy engineering and shipyards who have been exposed to asbestos. However until laundry schemes were introduced millions of men were bringing home this deadly dust. Not only the worker but also their wives and children were exposed to asbestos from washing and hanging out work clothes.
Currently about one in six mesothelioma victims are women. Some have been exposed to asbestos from their workplace but our experience is that many may have got this from innocently washing and handling their husband’s work clothes. Few would have been aware of the dangers that it brought.
This is probably going to be an increasing problem as the asbestos can stay latent in the body for 50 years or even longer before it triggers into asbestos mesothelioma.
Asbestos female cancer – completing the case
Cases for female asbestos cancer are often fought. We knew we had to go forward on the best possible footing and with the best evidence we could get.
We got a strong medical report from a doctor who works with asbestos victims every day. He reported that Mrs M had done well to survive so long and gave a prognosis for the future.
Our lawyers worked on the exposure to asbestos aspect and used a leading Occupational Hygienist. Her report helped to support the argument that a reasonable employer should have been aware of the dangers of asbestos to family members.
This evidence was put to the British Rail claims handlers. Therefore when faced with such strong evidence swiftly afterwards an offer in settlement was agreed.
We had taken just over nine months to settle the claim.
Corries’s asbestos specialist Maria McMurray who was part of the team that dealt with the case commented
” This case shows why we work so hard every day. Even the lock down has not stopped us in our quest for justice.
Mrs M is typical of an increasing number of women who will die from mesothelioma in the years to come. Many of them may have a similar story to Mrs M. Many wives and children have innocently been exposed to asbestos from husbands work clothes. The experience gained from this case will help others who will need help in the future.
Mrs M has done remarkably well from the diagnosis. She is aware what the future will bring. She has now got the peace of mind that she can put her affairs in order to protect her husband and family after she passes away.
Have you or a family member been affected by asbestos disease?
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