A retired power station worker who had two separate asbestos diseases has won five figure asbestos compensation even though he had been diagnosed in 2009.

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Our client Mr M came to us in October 2016. He had been diagnosed with the asbestos condition diffuse pleural thickening in 2009. With advice he secured benefits for that condition. Sadly he did not make a claim for compensation for that condition.

Details of the different asbestos disease can be found here

The Case Facts

Mr M contacted our firm after he was advised by his doctors that he had now developed interstitial fibrosis . In simple terms he now had ASBESTOSIS.

His asbestos exposure came when he worked at Northfleet power station from 1965-1972.

He asked if we could make a claim.

Asbestos Claim -Out of time – out of luck?

As you may see from solicitor adverts there is a time limit of three years to make a claim. This date is worked out from when you knew you might have a claim. In an accident claim this is easily worked out. In a work disease case this is taken from when you thought you had a problem or if a doctor told you so.

Cases brought out of time for work disease are very difficult. It is the defendant’s first argument and often causes work victims to lose out where they did not act in time.

A careful check

Mr M’s medical records were reviewed. We found that he had been diagnosed with and got Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits in 2009. He did not approach a solicitor nor make a claim for compensation.

We could see that the asbestosis was a new condition and that it must be adding to his disability. He had been suffering with chest infections for years and these seemed to be getting worse. He got more of them and recovery from them took longer. Our team investigated this very thoroughly. 

Our specialist team drew out and made a chart of how his lung function was getting worse each year.

Many lawyers would have turned the case down due to the 2009 diagnosis. Some would say his case was out of time.

What did we do?

Corries instructed a leading lung medical experts.  We asked him about the two conditions. The expert helped to confirm that the ABESTOSIS had developed over the years was part of a worsening picture of his chest health.

We put this to the defendants. The 2009 diagnosis was noted so we fought for the asbestosis alone as this was still brought within time. The case was contested and court proceedings were needed to show we were serious about the case.

Our lawyer stuck at the case and we were able to secure a five figure compensation sum which will help Mr M for the rest of his life.  He has not had to go to court nor will he lose out on any benefits.

Asbestos Claim – Why is this case important?

This case highlights that sometimes people can suffer with more than one asbestos disease. Millions in the UK may have asbestos scarring on their lungs called pleural plaques. This does not attract compensation. Others go on to develop thickening, asbestosis, mesothelioma or lung cancer.

In this case Mr M was unfortunate enough to suffer two conditions. He had diffuse pleural thickening due to his asbestos disease.  In addition he also had asbestosis.

Whilst he was out of time to claim compensation for his first condition the fact that he did not know about the second condition (asbestosis) meant that he could make a separate claim for that.

Mr M is now some 81 years old. We hope his compensation should make the rest of his life more comfortable.

Asbestos Claim comment

Maria McMurray, specialist asbestos claims lawyer who won the case commented

“ I am really pleased to have won this case for this lovely man. It is a shame he did not contact us in 2009 when he was first diagnosed. I was concerned that he might have missed out with that earlier diagnosis. Going carefully through his medical records showed the gradual affect the two conditions have been having on him.

To fight off the limitation argument raised by the defendants and to get the solid settlement was very pleasing.”

When we advertise or answer client queries we all too often have to turn cases down where people have not acted in time. There are many reasons why. Sadly the three year rule is not likely to change and the unwary will continue to miss out.

If you have been diagnosed with asbestos many years ago it is still likely that you may have missed out on compensation.  However there may be hope if:-

  1. You have been diagnosed with a second benign condition or;
  2. If you develop a malignant condition such as mesothelioma or lung cancer or;
  3. If there is ever a change in the law to reverse the refusal of compensation for pleural plaques.

Corries offer a FREE pleural plaque register to keep people informed of any change in the law. It is also there to help those who develop asbestos disease.  If you know anyone affected with asbestos disease who might be helped by this story then call us on 0800 083 7839.