Assisting a family affected by asbestos
Liz Makin, Associate and Solicitor in our Personal Injury department, has recently assisted a family who have sadly been affected by an asbestos related death. Mr Thomas from Exmouth, has kindly explained his family's experience with the serious health condition and how he highly recommends us here at Wolferstans.
My father was a marine engine fitter and spent many years working in ships engine rooms in Devonport dockyard. In those days workers were given no protective clothing when working with asbestos.
Dad was always a very fit and active man and in retirement, cared for my mum who had developed dementia. However at 92 he suddenly became ill and was admitted to Derriford Hospital. Unfortunately asbestos fibres had caused a tumour in his lung and nothing could be done. He was ill for about four months and it was very upsetting to see him in such pain and fade away so quickly. Dad’s biggest worry was what would happen to Mum as he realised the high cost of residential care but we assured him she would be taken good care of (although we knew their savings would not last for too many years).
It was the cancer specialists at Derriford who suggested – when releasing Dad for end of life nursing home care – that despite Dad’s age we should contact the Plymouth support group set up to help dockyard workers suffering asbestos related illnesses.
The support group recommended that I should firstly apply for certain DWP benefits that were available and that I should also contact one of their local lawyers specialising in asbestos related claims. I chose Wolferstans as I recognised them as a long standing local firm. It turned out to be a very good decision.
Due to Dad’s deteriorating health Wolferstans were very quick to visit him in his care home and take a statement regarding his employment history. They also stressed to us that when the time came it was very important to ensure Dad’s death was reported to the coroner who would carry out appropriate investigations and take tissue samples. This was certainly vitally important advice as initially the MOD declined responsibility for Dad’s illness based on inconclusive evidence regarding the levels of the asbestos fibres provided to the coroner.
However, when Wolferstans studied the medical reports they were convinced that the levels of asbestos fibres found in the samples were certainly high enough to press ahead with the claim and organised further reports from the very best specialists on a no win no fee basis. This all took some time but the new reports confirmed the higher levels of asbestos fibres. Eventually the MOD did admit liability and Wolferstans were able to negotiate a claim for an amount which substantially exceeded our expectations and which will ensure future funding of Mum’s care. Sadly she is unaware.
I can’t speak more highly of the help and advice received from Wolferstans – particularly Liz Makin who worked so hard to get the right result and kept us informed at all stages.
I would certainly highly recommend Wolferstans as caring, understanding, knowledgeable and professional specialist lawyers.