7 November 2007
A widow has finally recovered compensation for her husband’s death over 5 years after he developed mesothelioma.
Our client’s husband worked as a painter and lagger’s mate for Newells Insulation and Chemical Company between 1966 and 1968. His job involved mixing asbestos powder with water by hand and his former co-workers described how his hair would turn white because he would get so covered in the dust.
34 years later he developed shortness of breath and his GP referred him to hospital, where he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a fatal cancer of the lining of the lung which can only be caused by asbestos. Following his death his family got in touch with Leigh Day & Co. who started to put together evidence to allow the family to bring a claim against his former employers.
Newells Insulation and Chemical Company Limited was part of a group of companies in the UK which manufactured asbestos products, referred to as Turner & Newells, or T&N. Due to the number of claims against T&N, the companies went into liquidation and our client’s claim was put on hold. It was not until late in 2006 that the administrators established the T & N Asbestos Trust Company, which administered a fund to pay damages claims to asbestos disease victims. However, due to the dwindling assets of the company, they could only afford to pay 17% of the full value of the claim.
Initially the Trust offered less than £20,000 in damages, but Leigh Day & Co appealed this decision resulting in an award of nearly £25,000.
Dan Easton comments:
"These damages are only a fraction of what we would have expected to receive in Court and former T&N workers have been very hard done by the company going into administration. Awards like this represent a small victory in a very long struggle. It is hard for our clients to accept their claims are only worth these low amounts when T&N's financial restructuring is said to have cost more than £70m in fees paid to UK administrators, lawyers, accountants and other professional advisers. It would have been far simpler and more effective for our clients to have been paid directly."
For more information please contact Daniel Easton on 020 7650 1200.
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