Asbestosis affecting a Kitsons Insulations lagger exposed to asbestos for only a few months has resulted in five figure compensation after a lengthy battle with the company insurers.

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Kitsons Asbestosis claim -case facts

Our client Mr H came to us in the summer of 2016.  He told us he had been diagnosed with asbestos related pleural plaques.  Mr H had seen our advert and wanted to join our pleural plaque register. He told us he felt his health was not as good as it could be.

First of all our enquiries showed Mr H had seen his doctors and had a CT scan in 2011. The scan showed early asbestosis. Mr H however was not told of this diagnosis. It was not obvious then that any asbestos damages was causing disability

There is a strict three year rule for making a claim for compensation. It is usually the first argument raised by defendants when people try to bring cases out of time.

As the years passed Mr H felt worse. Tests showed that his lung function was not a great deal worse over these years.  He had always tried to keep himself as fit and as active as he could. However he did not feel right.

Asbestosis claim – the medical case

We had to be sure of the medical footing before we could go on. As his records showed no clear or obvious disability we though we would struggle to make a claim.

We worked with Mr H who spent the next 18 months going back for further medical tests and investigations.  He was helped by one of his doctors who has a keen interest in asbestos disease. After more tests and scans that doctor felt able to confirm he had asbestosis causing some affect.

Armed with this we were then able to move the case on with vigour.

Our firm instructed a leading asbestos medical expert specialising in asbestosis cases. We hoped she would agree with Mr H’s treating doctor. She undertook a thorough examination of Mr H and of his records.

Making a claim for asbestosis

The need for good medical evidence is the cornerstone of any claim for compensation. It is an issue which asbestos victims sometimes do not understand.  Often they assume that because they have been told of asbestos disease by a doctor at hospital or have secured benefits then the case is won. Insurers and the courts need independent and convincing evidence that the asbestos exposure has caused harm. They will not agree compensation unless they have this good evidence.

Corries work with the best barristers and medical experts to make sure we have evidence in hand. The evidence we gather concentrates on three things:-

1. Radiology – chest x-rays and scans give a clear indication about the presence and amount of asbestos disease;

2. Lung function tests – these tell the tale about how someone’s lung and pleural is functioning and how their bodies convert air to oxygen and;

3. Clinical examination – gives the doctor their perspective on how disabled someone is and how much of that is due to asbestos disease or other conditions. Defendants often argue someone’s disability or breathlessness is due to other health conditions.

In Mr H’s case his radiology did not show wide spread asbestosis damage. His lung functions tests were good for a man of his age. After examination the doctor thought that out of an overall disability 40% about 10% of that was due to this asbestosis.  The doctor thought that this should be a static but steadily worsening condition for the rest of Mr H’s life.

As a result of this positive evidence we got to work and put the case to the defendants.

The Defendants response

The defendants argued the case all three points.

Firstly they argued the case was out of time because of the 2011 CT scan. We went through the medical records and provided a lengthy argument about why this was not the case.

Secondly they argued there was not a long enough period of time of asbestos exposure as it was only for a few months. We went back to the defendants and showed H M Revenue documents and got the client to expand on the work he had done.

Thirdly they criticised the medical evidence and did not accept the finding of asbestosis disability. They looked to get their own evidence. We explained the three bases above and how the expert had reached her opinion and stood by it.

Asbestosis case – the to and fro

We stood by our case and the evidence given. We issued and served court proceedings and entered into negotiations with the defendants. Within a few weeks three steadily increasing offers were made. The third and final offer was double the original offer and was acceptable to Mr H.

Mr H was happy with this and his monies have been sent to him.

This case is like others we have fought for asbestosis

Asbestosis Case comment

Corries Director and Asbestos team Manager Howard Bonnett who won the case commented:

In putting together articles about the great work my team does I am cautious not to be melodramatic.

However the idea that making a claim for compensation for asbestosis is easy is misguided. There are very few simple accepted cases

This case is typical of what the insurance industry does.

In this case we had to work carefully with and alongside Mr H’s doctors. The earlier history and 2011 CT scan would have discouraged many solicitors from making a claim.

The issue of dose of asbestos would also have discouraged some others from pressing on.

Thirdly the challenge to and criticisms of the medical evidence could have undermined the case. It was only because we had a robust Doctor who thoroughly understood how disability could be assessed and pared away even where the radiology and tests were not so supportive. The doctor had seen and examined Mr H and drew her clear and strong medical opinion.

I am sure that there are many solicitors who when faced with all of these challenges would have let the case drop at various points before we took it on.  However my team do not work like that. We carefully reviewed the case and backed our expert. As No Win No fee lawyers we take a risk on our cases and have to have faith in those cases. On this occasion our faith was justified

Asbestos Claims – helping you

If you have been diagnosed with asbestos disease in the last three years then give us a call.  Our team are hard working and do not give up without a fight. We are happy to speak on a FREE no obligation basis. The number is FREEPHONE 0800 083 7839. if it is difficult for you to talk on the phone then we can work with you and other family members.