Compensation for engineer given months to live with mesothelioma diagnosis then told he has pleural thickening | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Compensation for engineer given months to live with mesothelioma diagnosis then told he has pleural thickening

Mr H instructed Dushal Mehta, Senior Associate at Fieldfisher, to pursue a claim for damages after having been told that he was suffering with mesothelioma.

Mr H was born on 12 October 1947 and when he left school he found work as a carpenter and shop fitter. In 1970, he began work for British Aerospace where he trained as a pipe testing engineer. 

During his time at British Aerospace, he worked in a very large workshop together with other engineers. He was exposed to asbestos dust when the asbestos lagged pipework in the roof of the workshop was replaced. This process took several months to complete. Mr H and the other engineers were not warned of the dangers or asked to take any special measures whilst the asbestos lagging was replaced around them. This was Mr H's only known asbestos exposure.

Mr H had enjoyed an active life but unfortunately had to give up work in the summer of 2013 after having suffered a stroke. He then started suffering with breathing difficulties and eventually was informed by Epsom Hospital that he was suffering from mesothelioma. Mr H was given this clinical diagnosis as he was too unwell to have a biopsy to confirm whether or not he was suffering with mesothelioma. At the same time as being told that he had mesothelioma, he was provided with details of solicitors to contact to pursue his mesothelioma claim and was recommended to Fieldfisher.

Dushal notified British Aerospace of the claim and they confirmed that Mr H had negligently been exposed to asbestos whilst working in their workshop. However, they disputed his diagnosis. Dushal was left with no alternative but to issue Court proceedings to try and resolve Mr H's claim as he was given months to live. Both parties obtained their own medical evidence and eventually the experts agreed that, on the balance of probabilities, Mr H was not suffering with mesothelioma and was likely to be suffering from diffuse pleural thickening. The experts could not rule out mesothelioma entirely.

Mr H agreed to pursue his claim on the basis of his pleural thickening diagnosis and instructed Dushal to secure a provisional settlement for him for his pleural thickening leaving open the opportunity for him to claim further damages if, at a later date, the mesothelioma diagnosis was confirmed.

Unfortunately, a few weeks before the final hearing, Mr H suddenly passed away due to heart failure. The post mortem confirmed that he was not suffering with mesothelioma and Dushal arranged for settlement of his widow's claim in the sum of £55,000. In addition, the Defendants agreed to also repay on top the substantial benefits that Mr H had received after his mesothelioma diagnosis.

Mr H had applied for Government benefits after being told that he was suffering with mesothelioma and it was of great concern to his widow that she may be asked to repay those substantial benefits as it transpired that he was not suffering with mesothelioma. Dushal was able to negotiate a settlement with the Defendants which included an agreement on their part to repay all of those benefits on top of the damages payable to his widow.

Contact us

For further information about mesothelioma claims, please call Dushal Mehta on 03304606751 or email


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