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Future immunotherapy costs secured for man in asbestos exposure settlement

A man with mesothelioma was exposed to asbestos when he worked at AEI in Rugby

Posted on 18 July 2018

A man known only as Mr W to protect his identity has settled his claim after being exposed to asbestos in his workplace. Mr W was represented by specialist asbestos claims lawyer Kevin Johnson.
Mr W was exposed to asbestos during his previous employment at AEI in Rugby between 1962 and 2005.  He served his apprenticeship with the company and was an electrical engineering technician.
During his apprenticeship he spent some time working in the power house and boiler house, and was involved in assisting fitters with various maintenance and repair jobs.   He helped with repairs on steam pipes which involved stripping asbestos lagging.  He had to remove and renew asbestos gaskets, and he also worked around laggers who were applying new asbestos insulation.
Court proceedings were issued using the asbestos Fast Track system in the Royal Courts of Justice.  
The defendant denied liability, but following a hearing a Judge found against the defendant and awarded interim damages to Mr W.
The case is significant because it relates to the future costs of immunotherapy.  Mr W is currently reasonably well and is not receiving any ongoing treatment for his mesothelioma.  However, he is aware that he might be a suitable candidate for immunotherapy in the future if his condition deteriorates. If he does not qualify for this treatment as part of an NHS trial, then he will consider paying for this privately.  Kevin had to ensure that the settlement will allow Mr W to return and recover further compensation if he does need to meet private medical costs for immunotherapy or other treatments.
The case settled two days before the trial was due to start.  A court order was prepared which set out the terms of settlement and a legally binding agreement was attached to the order which will oblige the defendant to pay for future private medical costs that may be incurred.  The court order and agreement set out the procedure; the trigger for this will be if Mr W’s treating oncologist recommends the treatment.  The defendant entered into an undertaking to pay for future treatments recommended by the treating oncologist. 
Mr W was very pleased with the settlement and said:-
“I have been very impressed by the effort made by Leigh Day in my mesothelioma case and very much so by the solicitor working on my behalf, Kevin Johnson. At all times the utmost professionalism and courtesy has been shown to me by Kevin and, in addition, I have been kept up to date at all times with the development of the case and settlement.
Another very pleasing aspect of the progress of the case is that Kevin is very knowledgeable about my illness having been updated through courses and conferences on medical developments for it. This has had a beneficial effect on my claim in terms of the new development of immunotherapy which is not, at present, claimable through the NHS. I certainly have been well looked after by Kevin and his colleagues. Thank you so much.” 
Specialist asbestos claims lawyer at Leigh Day, Kevin Johnson, said:
“It was a relief for my client to know that any future treatment that is recommended to him by his consultant will be met as part of this settlement. Immunotherapy drugs are being used on eligible patients with some other types of cancer and these new treatments offer some hope of an increased life expectancy to people who have mesothelioma.”