Brian Ward, who was born in 1950, worked as an apprentice for D George Electrical Limited in Nottingham 1967 until he qualified as an electrician three years later. In his witness statement, Brian remembers working on contracts for the company in boiler houses in hosiery factories across the Midlands where the plant and pipework were lagged with old asbestos insulation which he describes as having been applied 'like paste'.
While Brian was working on the boilers, the old lagging was being removed and he remembers 'clumps' of asbestos lying around on the floor and being surrounded by air full of asbestos dust.
Brian and his wife Shirley moved to Christchurch, New Zealand with their three sons in 1987. Brian continued to work as a freelance electrician until he retired in 2015.
Brian described himself as very fit, playing tennis and golf regularly and doing all the DIY on his house until he began to feel tired and breathless and experience pain in his chest in 2020. After visiting his GP and undergoing a biopsy, Brian was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which came as a terrible shock.
Via Mesothelioma UK, Brian contacted Peter immediately following his diagnosis. As his health deteriorated, Shirley looked after him at home. The family's situation was made worse in that one of their sons was left tetraplegic following a catastrophic road traffic accident 12 years earlier. Shirley and Brian had always visited their son at least three times a week to offer emotional and practical support. Sadly, Brian passed away in February this year, less than four months following diagnosis.
Peter pursued a claim against the insurers of Brian's former employer who admitted liability.
The case settled after Brian died but at least provides some financial security for Shirley and her sons.
Following settlement, Shirley said from New Zealand: "Once again, I thank you for all your help in enabling this settlement. It has made a tremendous difference for the boys, as you can imagine.
I really am glad that I chose Fieldfisher from the Mesothelioma UK list and had the opportunity of your help and expertise."
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