ASD acted for Mr. W who was diagnosed as suffering pleural thickening, an asbestos related condition. Prior to contacting ASD Mr. W had waited 2 years following his diagnosis. Fortunately, Mr. W was still within the 3 year limitation period and as such ASD were able to assist.
ASD obtained Mr. W’s medical records and notes so as to confirm the diagnosis and date of the diagnosis. In addition ASD carried out investigations into Mr. W’s previous work history and obtained details from HMRC confirming which companies Mr. W had previously worked for.
Once in receipt of Mr. W’s medical records and notes ASD instructed a local Chest Physician who has a great deal of experience in dealing with asbestos related conditions. An examination was carried out on Mr. W and a medico legal report was prepared. Pleural thickening was confirmed.
A detailed statement was taken from Mr. W which confirmed his previous exposure to asbestos and specifically blue asbestos. Such exposure was for only a relatively short duration over approximately a 6 year period, whilst the Claimant was employed by Thomas Firth and John Brown Limited (Firth Browns) in Sheffield.
ASD managed to identify insurers for the appropriate Defendant Company and sent a detailed letter of claim, with the medical evidence. The Defendant’s insurers failed to respond within an appropriate time period and as such ASD, following further searches to ensure the identity of the Defendant Company, identified that the said Defendant Company had been dissolved. ASD therefore made Application to the High Court in Leeds in order to restore the Defendant Company to the Company Register. This enabled ASD to issue Court Proceedings against the previously dissolved company in order to progress Mr. W’s claim.
A Defence was received denying liability, denying exposure and suggesting that Mr. W had not issued Proceedings within the 3 year limitation period.
ASD replied on behalf of the Claimant detailing why the Claimant’s claim should succeed.
After further negotiations with the Defendant’s solicitors ASD secured a 5 figure settlement in the Claimant’s favour.
Ralph Clark, Solicitor within ASD’s Disease Department, comments that Mr. W’s claim was not straightforward. Identifying the Defendant and appropriate insurers after so many years involved a lot of investigation, including visits to the Central Library and archives in Sheffield. The Claimant had initially been employed by the Defendant company and exposed to asbestos in the 1950s-1960s. The Defendant Company had changed names on a number of occasions and had ultimately been dissolved and removed from the Company Register. This required Restoration Proceedings. Matters were compounded by the insurers to the Defendant Company also having previously been liquidated meaning that Mr. W’s compensation ultimately had to be paid for via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which is a Scheme set up to compensate successful Claimants in the event that the Defendant’s insurance company has gone bust.
Mr. Clark states “cases such as Mr. W’s are rewarding in being able to obtain compensation for an asbestos related condition which victims suffer from many years after exposure to asbestos in the workplace. Little did Mr. W realise that when he was exposed to asbestos in the late 1950s-early 1960s he would later suffer with an asbestos related condition, caused by the Defendant negligently exposing him to asbestos whilst he was employed as a young man for the Defendant Company. To manage to obtain compensation will hopefully assist Mr. W as he comes to terms with his condition and the impact it has had on his breathing and quality of life”.