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Settlement secured for widow of former carpenter following mesothelioma death

A widow who lost her husband due to the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, has successfully recovered substantial compensation from her late husband's former employers.

Posted on 14 March 2019

Patrick worked for John Jarvis Limited, based in Tunbridge Wells, in the late 1960s and early 1970s as an apprentice carpenter. As part of his duties he was required to cut up sheets of asbestos in the works yard causing dust to blow all around him and resulted in him looking "like a snowman". He also had to remove and replace asbestos soffits and cut holes through them to fit pipes. He routinely used Asbestolux as a fireproofing material.

Sadly, in 2017, Patrick was diagnosed with mesothelioma despite being very fit and healthy. He noticed he was breathless at his regular park run and following investigations was diagnosed with the fatal cancer. Although he pursued chemotherapy and was investigating the possibility of immunotherapy, he succumbed to his illness in late 2017 aged 65.

Daniel Easton, partner in Leigh Day’s asbestos team, acted for Patrick’s widow in pursuing a claim against his former employers, John Jarvis Ltd. Despite the employers arguing that the levels of asbestos exposure were not deemed dangerous by the standards of the day, they conceded liability when Daniel pressed for a court hearing to prove their fault. Damages were subsequently agreed a few days before a trial, which reflected both the pain and suffering caused by Patrick’s illness and the financial losses his wife has suffered as a consequence of his death. Daniel was also able to recover monies for the local hospice which cared for Patrick during his final days.

Patrick’s wife commented as follows: “Both Daniel and barrister Patrick Kerr ensured that all correspondence and conversations with me were handled most sensitively during the difficult period following Patrick’s death. Yet they were tenacious and robust in their challenges in the aggressive defendants. 

"I am delighted with the final outcome. Nothing will bring back my husband and friend of 44 years, but I feel it right that a lack of heed for safe working practices many years ago has been in some measure brought to justice.”