Mesothelioma victimís family win their fight for justice

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Mesothelioma victimís family win their fight for justice

27th November 2012

The family of a Wolverhampton man who died from a fatal lung disease caused as a result of his exposure to asbestos more than 50 years ago, has received £215,000 in an out of court settlement.

Lesley Mynett, an industrial disease specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the mother-of-one, who is in her 70’s, took up her late husband’s fight for justice following his tragic death from mesothelioma in April 2011.

“My client’s husband was in the advanced stages of his illness when he instructed us to initiate proceedings against his former employer,” said Lesley, a partner with the firm. “Tragically, he died less than two months after he was able to describe at length how and when he was exposed to asbestos all those years ago. However, the details he provided helped us to secure the justice he was owed on behalf of his family.”

In 1957 the victim began a mechanical engineering apprenticeship at a vehicle manufacturing company, where he remained for the next five years. For much of his apprenticeship, he worked in a foundry where the pipework was lagged with asbestos. Much of the lagging needed renewing and was often in a state of disrepair.

“The foundry my client’s husband worked in was extremely dirty and the atmosphere was always full of smog and dust created by the decaying asbestos lagging that used to flake off and settle on the floors and surfaces around the workshop,” said Lesley.

“Before he died, he told me how you could always see the toxic dust in the air when the light shone through the windows at certain angles and because he was never warned of the dangers of asbestos or provided with any kind of face mask, he never had any choice but to inhale the filthy air each day.

“He also worked in an area of the factory known as the running shop,” she added. “This was where lorries which had just come off the assembly line would be jacked up so their brakes could be worn in. As the brake linings were all made of asbestos during the time he worked for the company, there was never any escape from the considerable amounts of asbestos fibres that were created in the process. Ten vehicles a day would be tested in this manner and because his role involved either sitting in the lorry cabs or standing alongside the vehicles whilst the job was ongoing, he again had no option but to breathe in all the resulting asbestos dust released into the air.”

In November 2009, the victim began suffering breathlessness and pain in his right shoulder while he was out walking with his wife. After visiting his cardiologist he underwent a number of tests and scans which noted a significant reduction in lung function and a build up of fluid in his lung tissue. Over the next several months, he began suffering chest pains which gradually grew more prominent and then in October 2010 he underwent further scans in which tumours were found on his liver as well as in both lungs.

“In December 2010, following a biopsy on his liver, at which point he was being administered morphine for his pain which had become, in his own words both ‘unbearable and indescribable,’ my client’s husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma,” said Lesley. “The diagnosis was a tremendous shock to both he and his wife and proved incredibly difficult to accept. Having previously been as ‘fit as a fiddle’ all his life, his condition rapidly deteriorated and he lost nearly three stone over the course of three sessions of chemotherapy.

“Mesothelioma is a very painful and debilitating terminal illness,” added Lesley. “From his diagnosis up until his death just four months later, my client’s husband suffered considerable anxiety and distress and required increasing amounts of care and assistance which was provided by his wife and son.

“It is hoped that the settlement his family have now received after liability was admitted by his former employer’s insurers, will help them move on from the trauma of having lost a husband and father in such a cruel manner simply because his employer failed to protect him from asbestos.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of†industrial diseases†including†mesothelioma†and other asbestos-related diseases.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on

0800 0191 297 or fill in the†online claims questionnaire.