Asbestosis claim win in spite of doctors blaming problems on heart disease sets pathway for thousands of victims

Corries have won compensation for an ex Ministry of Defence worker with heart disease and asbestos exposure. His breathing problems had been entirely blamed on his heart disease by his doctors.

Read how we persevered with a claim which many would have turned down. Our battle to secure modest compensation which will preserve this victim’s future and help others.

Corries are UK leading asbestos claim solicitors. No one tries harder than us to get you the justice you deserve. Call us FREE on 0800 083 7839 or e mail us on

Heart disease and Asbestos Disease – fatal partners?

This was the case with our client Mr R. In a battle lasting over three years we have eventually won him compensation and his story may help other who are not being signposted to help by their medical team.

Asbestos claims-hearts and lungs

When people start to struggle with breathing or getting out of breath then commonly a G.P shall refer you to either a cardiology or a respiratory appointment. Very often one or the other will look into matters and pass you to the other.

That was the case with Mr R. He was passed between the departments and heart disease was found. His treatment continued but his condition never improved despite new medication and other work.

He had been found to have pleural plaques. They do not cause symptoms. He also had mild asbestosis. However, his doctors did not think his disability was in any way due to this asbestosis.

At first it seemed that there would be a struggle to make a claim. However our team thought Mr R deserved a broader look at his claim.

Looking into your heart disease and asbestos disease together is important if you want to make a claim

Heart disease and Asbestos claims -proving disability

Many people will have asbestosis and not all get this diagnosed. In some cases the condition is not widespread enough to cause disability.

To make a claim for compensation we need a medical expert to confirm at least 1% of the victim’s disability is due to the asbestosis.

Our team reviewed Mr R’s medical records and saw the brick wall he was facing. We put the case to one of our panel of medical experts. Sadly, this expert agreed with his treating doctors. She did recommend we got a cardiologist to report and see if this could help.

We also got an updating CT scan and lung function tests done in a local clinic.

The test results did not move her view.

The cardiologist was not supportive and blamed the heart condition on his breathing problems.

It seemed that the case was over.

The 1-10% range and the route to a claim

We did not accept that the case was at an end and were sure that asbestos must be playing a part.

The scale used to assess disability uses the phase 1-10% as being “breathless on prolonged or heavy exertion”

Our team worked with a junior barrister and went through the medical history carefully together. We plotted out some questions to re investigate this with the respiratory expert and the cardiologist. We asked them to review the up to date CT scans and lung function tests we had organised privately.

The experts took on our comments and agreed that about 2-5% disability could be blamed on the early and currently underlying asbestosis.

This was enough to support a claim and we put this to the defendant.

The defendant reply

Defendants often challenge the level of disability a medical expert gives in their report. In this case they argued that the small disability was not enough to support a claim.

However, the foundation work we have done supported the claim and the evidence could not be budged. Negotiations started and the case settled without the need for court proceedings.

Heart disease and asbestos case comment

Corries Asbestos claims expert Howard Bonnett commented

I am really pleased that we got a modest win for Mr R. His case proves that it is important if you have heart disease and asbestos disease that you should look into this with an experienced lawyer.

Many asbestos claim solicitors would have thrown the towel in at the two stages where the claim floundered. I have been working with asbestos victims for 33 years and still felt that Mr R was not getting a fair shake.

This case has convinced me that thousands of people with heart disease are missing out on vital compensation.

His case highlights the importance of asking right questions of your medical team. I appreciate they are busy people. They do not always understand the medical legal nuances that even a modest change might be enough to form a pathway for a claim. Not only can we get some compensation but we may be able to secure provisional damages so someone is protected in the future.

Have you have been told you have heart disease and asbestos disease in the last three years but not been signposted to make a claim? Then telephone our very experienced claims team now. The call is FREE and we can help you we shall. If you have letters we can look at them for you and give advice.

We can signpost you in the right direction to make sure you are not missing out on compensation or benefits.

Call our team now for FREE on 0800 083 7839. Or e mail us in confidence to and one of our team will get in touch

Practical points

If you want to check things before you get in touch with us then you can read our website for more help. Here is a link to a previous article where we suggested some questions to put to your medical team