However, Valerie's husband Colin had worked with asbestos during his career. Colin began working for Stamford Homes in 1963 and stayed with the company until he retired in 2013. The couple have lived in Peterborough for most of their lives and have two children and a granddaughter.
Stamford Homes was Colin's sole employer during that time. For some of this period, Colin worked for the company as a sub-contractor but, for all intents and purposes, he was an employee of the company, which was subsequently taken over by Linden Homes Midlands and later by the Galliford Group.
Colin began working for Stamford as a carpenter, which mainly involved roofing work. He was involved in developing large building estates, many of which housed 250+ homes. As a carpenter, he regularly used asbestos and asbestolux on the properties, creating an asbestos soffit on each house. Colin was also exposed to asbestos dust on fire-check doors usually installed between the garage and utility room of each house. He would shave and cut the doors to size, and they were lined with asbestos, which was also used in the garages.
While he worked for Stamford, Colin was never warned of the dangers of working with asbestos, which he would later bring home on his overalls for Valerie to wash by hand. Valerie remembers she would often check and empty his pockets before shaking out his clothes out before washing them, each time exposing her to large amounts of asbestos.
Sadly, Valerie developed mesothelioma having previously enjoyed very good health. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, but was given the all-clear following a mastectomy. Valerie had always been very active prior to the onset of the mesothelioma and the couple have tried to remain positive and to maintain their social life as much as they can.
Dushal successfully concluded Valerie's claim for compensation in a short space of time and without the need for Court proceedings.
Following settlement, Valerie and Colin, who have been married for 50 years, said:
"When Valerie was diagnosed, we had no idea where to go for help, it was all new to us. The hospital gave us a leaflet with some advice and we phoned Fieldfisher. We then got a message back saying Dushal was going to come to visit us in our home - that was worth a fortune to us to speak to someone face to face rather than on the phone.
"Dushal explained exactly what he could do for us, in clear, straightforward terms, and then did everything he said he would. We really appreciate what he did and would recommend him and the firm to anyone."
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