Fighting for Justice – How Wolferstans Fought for the Widow of a Devonport Engineer
Explore the determined efforts of Sally and Daniel as they navigate the legal complexities to secure justice for their beloved late husband and father, Bob, following his exposure to asbestos in Devonport Dockyard.
In the town of Harrogate, Yorkshire, Daniel found himself shouldering the responsibility of settling his late father's affairs. His father, Bob, had worked as a dedicated engineer, apprenticing at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth, in the 1940s. Little did they know that Bob's honourable career would eventually lead to a life-changing illness.
Bob had been exposed to asbestos during his time at the dockyard, an insidious threat that quietly infiltrated his lungs. It took more than 70 years for the consequences to surface, manifesting as the devastating diagnosis of mesothelioma when Bob was in his 90s. Frail and unwell, Bob chose not to pursue a claim, leaving his widow, Sally, in the dark about the cause of his cancer, which was his exposure to asbestos all those decades ago, before they even met.
Two years after Bob's passing, Sally reached out to Wolferstans Solicitors, seeking guidance through her son, Daniel, who served as the executor of Bob's estate. The circumstances were complex – no post-mortem examination had been conducted, and Sally had no information about Bob's colleagues or the intricacies of his work at the dockyard. Initially, the family thought his later career may have been the source of his asbestos exposure. Bob had left the dockyard to go to university and had a long career as a consulting engineer in the Midlands, working nationally and internationally.
Recognising the gravity of the situation, Liz Makin, asbestos solicitor, with a wealth of knowledge in dockyard claims, took swift action. A personal visit was made to Harrogate, where Daniel shared the details of his father's story, and legal advice was provided with empathy and understanding.
Acting on a No Win, No Fee basis, Liz delved into the depths of Bob's medical, employment and tax history, obtaining crucial records to build a robust case. Leveraging our extensive experience in dockyard claims, we reached out to past and present clients who shared similar occupational experiences with Bob. Their testimonies not only highlighted asbestos exposure but also underscored the negligence in safety measures, persisting even decades later.
The meticulous gathering of evidence allowed us to calculate the claim's value and negotiate a substantial six-figure settlement case – all without the need for court proceedings.
The success of this case was not just about obtaining financial compensation; it was about acknowledging the pain and suffering, the loss of companionship, and the dedication of the family in caring for their loved one.
Read what Daniel had to say:
“Liz and her team worked flat out and always took the time to explain exactly what was happening and why. Communication was always first rate, and Liz is one of the most personable and patient people I've met. She has extensive specialist knowledge and well connected with other experts in this field.
There were times when it felt like we were just hitting brick walls. Liz and her team however never gave up and thanks to her professionalism and perseverance, the claim was successful and a substantial and life changing pay-out was awarded to my mother.
I can't rate Liz Makin and her team at Wolferstans Plymouth highly enough. Both my mother and the rest of my family will always be extremely grateful.”
Liz and the entire team at Wolferstans are happy that Sally and Daniel have found solace in the fact that their fight for justice had not only secured a significant settlement but also brought to light the long-standing disregard for safety which persisted for decades, despite the MOD knowing by 1965 that inhaling even small quantities of asbestos dust could be deadly.
Wolferstans remains committed to championing the rights of individuals like Bob and their families, securing the justice they deserve. If you, or your loved one, have experienced a similar situation, our team are here to offer a guiding hand.
Contact our legal experts today to schedule a free initial consultation.