£201,832 awarded for exposure to asbestos fibres
A 35 year old woman was awarded compensation of £201,832 following her husband's death from mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres brought home on his stepfather's overalls 30 years before.
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The claimant's husband was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres between the ages of 5 and 7. Her husband's stepfather worked at a power station and came home with asbestos fibres on his body and his clothes in the course of his employment. The stepfather also took his overalls home to be washed and this exposed the claimant's husband to the fibres when he was a child.
This early exposure to asbestos caused a malignant mesothelioma to form in the lungs of the claimant's husband. He developed symptoms of lung cancer at the age of 34. After three months he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He lived for a further nine months after diagnosis.
The claimant also developed mesothelioma in his liver and peritoneum. Treatment included surgery and four rounds of chemotherapy. He suffered unpleasant side effects from the chemotherapy.
It was alleged that the defendant company was negligent insofar as they failed to provide a safe working environment and/or safe working practices for the deceased's stepfather thereby endangering his family.
The claimant maintained that the deceased suffered mental anguish as he was aware of the distress of his wife and daughters anticipating his loss before passing.
The claimant suffered from psychiatric ill health herself and relied on her husband a great deal. It was alleged that she would suffer greatly from being deprived of his care and attention.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was admitted, but the amount of the compensation could not be agreed. The matter progressed to a Court hearing.
Compensation of £201,832 was accepted by way of a Court award.
£70,000 was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
Loss of care and attention of a husband and father was awarded at £9,500.
The family's dependency on the claimant's future income, pension and services was awarded at £91,895.
Cost of care was accepted in the sum of £12,126.
A bereavement award of £10,000 was made.
£2,795 was awarded for funeral expenses.
The remainder was attributed to miscellaneous expenses and interest.
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About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.