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Case Study

NHS admit faulty pipework at hospital in Hackney caused mesothelioma 30 years later

Ann Syz a child psychotherapist was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.

She could not remember where she was exposed to asbestos but did recall traversing the corridors of the Hospital for Sick Children in Hackney as an employee in the 1980s where there may have been pipework.  During the course of lengthy investigations including Freedom of Information requests to both the Royal London and Great Ormond Street Hospitals, we were able to ascertain that not only did the Health & Safety Executive warn the Hospital that the blue asbestos was deteriorating in the pipework above the corridors where our client regularly walked, but also that nothing was done about it in the 1980s during our client’s employment there. 

We also located the maintenance fitters at the Hospital who informed us that they were not warned of the dangers of deteriorating blue asbestos in the pipework to patients and staff traversing the corridors nor were they told to take any particular care.

In October 2015 the NHS admitted liability and the case proceeds to trial in January 2016 on quantum alone.

Watch Ann tell her story in person. Video credit: Jo Syz

We are increasingly seeing cases of much more transient exposure to asbestos leading to mesothelioma especially involving women. All Ann did was walk up and down corridors where there was deteriorating pipework. These cases are extremely difficult to prove evidentially and win. We have conducted similar cases arising out of hospitals at Guys, University College London and at various schools around the country.

Ann wrote to Peter:

“My gratitude to you for all the work and time that you put in to gain my compensation is never ending  The entire process was overwhelming, but your thinking, kindness and support over those years kept my head above water and me afloat. I still feel bemused when I realise all you have done on my behalf.  My hope is, too, that the case will set a precedent for anyone else in my position.”

Contact us

For further information about mesothelioma claims, please call Peter Williams on 020 7861 4825 or email


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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