£428,061 compensation awarded for mesothelioma case
Mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos at work led to an industrial disease compensation claim in 2013. £428,061 was awarded to the widow of a man who died aged 70, six months after being diagnosed.
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The deceased worked in shipyards where he was exposed over many years to asbestos dust and fibres. After retiring aged 61 he cared full time for his wife who suffered ill health.
At the age of 70 he developed chest pain and shortness of breath. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma one month later.
Treatment included surgery to remove fluid from his chest and radiotherapy. He became depressed and lethargic and was prescribed morphine for his pain.
Six months after diagnosis the man died. The cause of death was his mesothelioma.
It was alleged that his employer was negligent in not protecting him from asbestos dust and fibres in the workplace.
His death had been caused by the exposure to asbestos as it caused his mesothelioma.
The deceased would have reasonably expected to live approximately 10 years. His life had been shortened by the exposure to asbestos.
The deceased's wife had a long history of complex medical problems. He had been her primary carer since retiring aged 61 to look after her.
The death of her husband meant private care would have to be sourced. It was maintained that 39.5 hours of care a week were necessary.
Solicitors for the defendant maintained that the man would not have been able to provide all the care needed. Heavy duties would have become more difficult as he aged.
The care would have included other important factors of companionship, comfort and support. The claimant would be denied that as a result of her husband's death.
A time of six years was agreed as that during which the deceased could have provided full care. After this time his ability to care would have reduced as he aged.
The claimant would not be able to deal with everyday tasks at a future point and a Case Manager would be needed for household matters as she aged.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was admitted but compensation could not be agreed out of Court.
At the Court hearing the claimant was awarded total compensation of £428,061.
£95,685 of the damages was attributed to the deceased's "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
Additionally £332,376 was awarded for past and future care costs.
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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
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.