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Case Study

£650k settlement plus future immunotherapy costs for London Borough of Tower Hamlets' maintenance worker

62-year-old Desmond Wright was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2017 after he became breathless during Christmas celebrations with his family. He began chemotherapy soon afterwards and underwent seven cycles of the treatment.

Mr Wright's main concern was how to protect the future of his wife, who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and one of his sons who lives with epilepsy and learning difficulties and needs constant care at the family home.

Because of his wife's illness, she and the couple's son rely heavily on Mr Wright who does almost all the household chores, the gardening and most of the shopping. He is now no longer able to look after them in this way.

In 2018, Peter Williams brought an injury claim against the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, for whom Mr Wright performed maintenance duties on council housing between 1979 and 1983.

The claim stated that the council was negligent in that Mr Wright was given no protective overalls or masks while he removed old bath panels, Artex ceiling tiles and rope seals from fire places, all of which contained lethal asbestos dust.

Mr Wright remembers breaking up panels and tiles with a hammer, surrounded by dust and debris, before bagging it up for disposal. He once challenged his foreman about the safety of removing the ceiling tiles, known to contain asbestos, and was told it was 'only 2%' and he should just get on with it since it was just like 'stripping wallpaper'.

Our legal case contended that the LB of Tower Hamlets should have known of the dangers of asbestos and was under a duty of care to properly protect Mr Wright while he worked. The negligence of his employers has seriously reduced Mr Wright's life expectancy and destroyed his ability to care for his family.

Peter included in the schedule of loss the cost of adapting the Wright's family home to enable their other son to move home to care for his brother and mother. Peter secured the costs of the lost salary while he provides such care.

Also included in the settlement is a promise to pay the cost of all future medical care needed by Mr Wright including expensive immunotherapy treatment should he need it.

Following settlement, Desmond Wright said: "My future is much brighter knowing that my finances are secure and my sons have financial security that they can rely on in the coming years. Peter expressly deals with asbestos claims so his attention to his cases is undivided and his expertise in the subject matter is unparalleled."

Related expertise

Mesothelioma Claims