I acted on behalf of a former bank employee who developed the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, as a result of his exposure to asbestos dust and fibres during the course of his employment as a boiler man/caretaker at the Bank’s headquarters in his late 20s and early 30s.
My client’s daily duties meant that he was regularly exposed to asbestos dust and fibres whilst working in the unseen areas of the Bank’s headquarters in the City of London.
Each morning his first job was to brush the white dust from the floors of the boiler rooms and cellars underneath the main areas of the Bank, which was based in heart of the Country’s financial district.
He was employed by the Bank for several years before moving away from the City.
After leaving the bank he worked for many years in various other jobs including the car industry none of which had brought him into contact with this deadly substance.
He had begun to enjoy what he hoped was going to be, as he described it, “long and lazy retirement” and was looking forward to fishing trips with his grandsons and spending time tending to his immaculate garden.
When I first met him he had only just been diagnosed with this deadly condition but had come to terms with the hand that fate had dealt him.
He told me that he had gone to see his GP as he had been unable to get rid of an “annoying cough” and had noticed he had lost a “bit of weight”. Following some tests at his local hospital including x rays and scans and eventually a lung biopsy he was given the dreadful news that he had Mesothelioma and that this undoubtedly was the result of his exposure to asbestos.
Once diagnosed his prime concern was to ensure his wife was looked after and would not have to worry financially.
Identifying the negligent employer was the easy part here and fortunately the insurers took a very pragmatic view and admitted breach of duty very early on.
A report was commissioned from a Respiratory Consultant whose prognosis was that my client had between 6 and 9 months to live.
It was his wish that I did all I could to bring the matter to a conclusion as quickly as possible so that he had the peace of mind of knowing that his wife would be “looked after”.
I was able, once the medical report was to hand, to engage the employer’s insurers in some meaningful negotiations which meant that within 12 months of being instructed I was able to negotiate settlement of the client’s claim, giving him the peace of mind he craved most of all.
In fact some 18 months after his diagnosis I was delighted to hear that he was still able to enjoy the odd afternoons’ fishing with his grandson!