Asbestos claim win – making all the defendants pay takes time and effort

Asbestos claim specialists Corries have won a five figure settlement for a man with asbestos pleural thickening which has caused disability.

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Our team have just won a claim where a man worked for eight different companies. We fought hard to get all of his employers to pay his claim.

Asbestos claim – pleural thickening

Our client Mr P started to get breathless a few years ago. He ended up in hospital where tests showed he had problems with a buildup of fluid (effusion) in the area between his lung and rib cage – the pleura.  The investigations showed that asbestos had caused this effusion and left him with disability.  This, coupled with heart and weight issues meant that his day-to-day mobility was much reduced. He needed a mobility scooter

Asbestos claim facts

Our client Mr P was exposed to asbestos having worked with eight different companies. He tried his hand at many different jobs in a wide variety of industries. These included dairy work when lagging boilers, building firms where he ripped down asbestos roofs. He did demolition work on council houses before moving on to laying pipes for different utility companies.  He also worked for electricity boards before returning to demolition and building work for other companies. His H M revenue record of employers read like a “Who’s Who” of companies we had sued before.

The work spanned about 25 years before he went into self employment.

asbestos claim

Asbestos claims can involve many defendants in industries like demolition

What did we do?

We carefully went through his work history.  Because his work was so different with his employers working out how much he was exposed to asbestos was a difficult exercise. Remembering the work and places and asbestos was no easy task.

Why is finding out about each employers work so important?

Mr P has pleural thickening.  This like asbestosis and lung cancer is generally known to be a divisible disease.  This means that each employer that exposed the person to asbestos only has to pay their respective share of the exposure and damage they caused. This often sadly means that people employed by dead companies with no traced insurer can lose out on some or all of the compensation they deserve.

In this case this required a lot of painstaking work.  Matters were complicated by the fact that two of the eight employers could not be traced at all nor could insurance be found. This meant Mr P was never going to get his full 100% compensation. We dug deep to find the remaining companies.

Our strategy to settlement

We encouraged all of the defendants to get together and deal with the case jointly.  In February 2017 we were able to settle the case against five of the six remaining defendants.  Their contribution to the case was 65% of the overall claim.  Settlement terms were agreed and the monies and the claim against them ended.  This also stopped them with having to pay any further costs as the claim went along.

We hoped the last defendant, who was responsible for about 20% of the claim, would see sense and settle. They did not.

Asbestos Disease -Last man standing

The case continued against the last remaining defendant. This defendant admitted nothing and argued

  1. That the remaining contribution left to them was so modest that it was unnecessary for us to pursue it;
  2. That Mr P was not exposed to asbestos with them in enough dose to contribute to the condition and;
  3. That his condition was not due to asbestos in any event.

Given that we had got most of what could be recovered there was a case for letting the case go. However we thought that was wrong and we pressed on.

We fought on for another 14 months even when Mr P was minded to let the matter rest.  However at Corries we fight for every penny. Eventually settlement terms were agreed against this final defendant in May 2018 with a further five figure sum for compensation and costs to be paid.

Corries comment

Corries Solicitor Charlie Bradley who settled the claim said

Handling multi defendant cases for asbestos victims can be very difficult. It can be like herding cats. An asbestos victim on their own would find this almost impossible.

As with many situations involving lots of people you hope all will see sense but some sadly do not.  This was the case here.  It would have been easy to let the remaining defendant “off the hook” and let the case rest. However we felt that we had to dig in and fought the defendants on all issues. This was proved by the final result.

The case could have settled much more cheaply for the insurer if they had joined in with the other five defendants in February 2017. Sometimes I is important to let the insurance companies know that you will fight to the end.

Mr P is very pleased with the settlement and with the approach that we have taken. He can use the monies to help make his life a little easier”

Have you been diagnosed with asbestos disease? If you have then you need a robust solicitor in your corner. Call Corries team now FREE for a no obligation chat on 0800 083 7839 and see if we can help you.