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Case Study

Gatwick engineer with mesothelioma describes how he came to instruct Fieldfisher

Client Robert Pearce was exposed to asbestos during his employment between 1974-2004 by the former British Airports Authority, since renamed Gatwick Airport Holding Ltd.

Mr Pearce worked as an electrician in the heating and ventilation section at Gatwick Airport during the development of the South Terminal in the mid-1970s. In his witness statement, he says he was exposed to asbestos in pipe lagging in the old boiler plant rooms and on the boarding gate piers.

Mr Pearce was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2020 after being taken by ambulance to East Surrey Hospital. He already suffers with mobility problems following complications after disc surgery in 2004.

Having instructed Head of Industrial Disease Peter Williams, Mr Pearce's case settled earlier this year. Mr Pearce describes the progress of his claim:

"Firstly, I would like to thank all the people involved in my diagnosis, treatment and support given to me and my wife: the Macmillan nurses at East Surrey Hospital, HASAG (Southampton) and, of course, Peter Williams of Fieldfisher.

I was initially reluctant to talk to any solicitor as my only dealings had been though house purchases and they always seem to take forever and charge the earth! But with HASAG support, I concluded that I had little to lose.

HASAG sent me a list of no win, no fee solicitors so reluctantly I did a search on the web and although there was little to choose between them, Fieldfisher did come over as the best so I thought I could start with them.

I dialed the number and much to my surprise, someone picked up the phone, good start. I briefly outlined my condition and explained I had a diagnosis from a consultant and have limited life expectancy.

They listened and put me straight through to Peter Williams (PW). He asked further question and suggested that there was a case and if I was willing, he could represent me. Having established absolutely that there was no cost to me or my wife, I agreed that PW would represent me. What a great decision. PW was approachable answered my questions promptly and clearly explained the process to me every step of the way.

BAA Gatwick was a tricky employer. Every time I had moved office or department, I apparently moved company, even though, as far as I concerned, I still worked for BAA Gatwick. PW was presented with the dilemma of who was responsible. For a while, it seemed that this could be a major difficulty as each company denied responsibility. However PW had a solution, pursued it and moved my case forward.

I really thought that BAA had managed to dodge their responsibilities but with PW's tenacity and perseverance, he found a way though and proceeded with the case. We were within six weeks of going to the High Court before BAA offered a settlement figure that PW managed to increase through persuasive negotiations and which on his advice I accepted."

In conclusion,

Pros
  • I would recommend Fieldfisher and in particular Peter Williams.
  • They had a good approach to me keeping the language at the right level for my comprehension.
  • They were diligent in pursuing the case, hence it concluded sooner than expected and I have some time to enjoy it.
Cons
  • None 

Contact us

For further information about mesothelioma claims, please call Peter Williams on 020 7861 4825 or email peter.williams@fieldfisher.com.

Alternatively

All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.

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