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Successful settlement for family of mesothelioma victim Nigel Gray

Exposure to asbestos led to development of fatal cancer

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9 August 2017

Leigh Day has successfully settled a case for the family of a mesothelioma victim who died over three years after he was diagnosed with the terminal asbestos-related cancer.

Nigel Gray first developed symptoms of mesothelioma in 2011.  He did not contact Leigh Day asbestos and mesothelioma partner Daniel Easton until early 2015, and passed away just a couple of weeks after first meeting Daniel.  By that time he was already outside the three year ‘limitation period’ that applies to personal injury claims, and there was little evidence about where he was exposed to asbestos.  

However, after a year of investigating Nigel’s work history and obtaining old local authority planning records, Daniel was able to pinpoint buildings which contained asbestos insulation boards that he believed Nigel worked on in the late 1970s.  Daniel then issued Court proceedings against Nigel’s former employer.

The case was heavily fought, with the defendant denying that Nigel was ever exposed to asbestos, or alternatively saying that any asbestos he encountered was at “acceptable levels”.  They argued that Nigel’s case was out of time and should not be allowed to proceed at all.

Despite the strong arguments Leigh Day pressed on towards a trial, and with the threat of a Court case hanging over them, the defendants agreed to settle the case, without an admission of liability, for substantial damages which Nigel’s family will now receive.

Nigel’s widow said:

“After the death of my husband I had very little confidence. I was afraid that if I pursued this claim there was a chance I could lose what finances I had, and as my husband was the main earner I had to be careful with my money. 

“Daniel was very reassuring and explained everything with patience and clarity, probably more than once!

“All the way through I have felt in very safe hands and the whole case has been handled with great sensitivity.

“I really didn't think this would come to anything as we didn't know where Nigel was exposed. It was only after contacting Leigh Day that it came to light.

“Obviously the settlement is of financial comfort to me, but there are also a lot of other facts I have learnt which I wouldn't have known without pursuing this claim.”

Asbestos lawyer Daniel Easton said:

“I was pleased that, despite strong resistance from Nigel’s former employers, we were able to secure a sum of compensation for Mrs Gray that will help to secure her financial future.”

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