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New Zealand mesothelioma victim's settlement includes future medical expenses agreement

Significant sum of compensation paid to New Zealander who was exposed to asbestos in London

Flaking paint and pipes

24 October 2018

Leigh Day’s Daniel Easton has recovered substantial compensation for a mesothelioma sufferer who wishes to only be known as Gail, a New Zealand resident who was exposed to asbestos when she lived and worked in London in the 1980s and 1990s. The settlement includes an agreement for the defendant to pay Gail’s future medical expenses, including immunotherapy which is only available privately. The cost of this treatment can run to tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of pounds.

Gail worked for a prestigious private members club from the late 1980s until 2009.  Her office was situated in the basement of the building which contained asbestos insulated pipes.  Daniel and his team identified other employees from the club who were able to confirm work undertaken to the insulation which had disturbed dust into Gail’s working atmosphere.  Although the levels of exposure were low, they were sufficient to increase the risk of Gail developing mesothelioma, an incurable asbestos related cancer of the lining of the lung.

Gail instructed Leigh Day Partner and industrial disease specialist lawyer, Daniel to investigate the claim and represent her during Court proceedings. The case was hard fought and settled just a matter of days before a full trial, with no admission of liability.

Gail said, of the work done by her legal team:

"My family and I are immensely grateful to Daniel and the rest of my legal team for their impeccable work throughout the nearly two years it took to bring my case to trial. Daniel was diligent, knowledgeable about Mesothelioma, respectful of my journey, and compassionate in his approach. I was thrilled the settlement included future medical expenses and I have Daniel and his team to thank for such a good result. The settlement has given me peace of mind; it is very comforting to know private treatment is now an option."

Daniel Easton commented:

"With the advent of immunotherapy and other pioneering treatments, the options open to mesothelioma and lung cancer patients, for the treatment of their disease, seems to be increasing with every day.  There is inevitably a time lag between new treatments becoming available and those the same treatments being approved for use on the NHS, or with state healthcare providers (such as Australia and New Zealand).  Commonly, new treatments are only available privately and the cost can run to tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of pounds.  It is therefore of fundamental importance that legal claims for mesothelioma and lung cancer victims are investigated carefully with regards to the medical evidence, to consider other potential treatments and the likely cost. 

"Although Gail had not started chemotherapy, and we do not know what treatment she will need in future, we needed to ensure she was protected against future costs.  We therefore successfully pursued an agreement with the defendant to ensure that if Gail pursues private medical treatment in future, she can return to claim the cost.  This is an approach Leigh Day is taking in all mesothelioma and lung cancer cases, to ensure that our clients are fully compensated.  It is of fundamental importance that a legal claim is used as a vehicle to give proper compensation, which gives comfort and financial security to our clients, as well as ensuring they receive the best possible medical treatment for this terrible disease."

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