Mr Hutchinson was exposed to asbestos when he worked with Pebblecote (Holdings) Limited from about 1968 until about 1979.
It was Mr Hutchinson’s job to load asbestos powder and other material into a three tonne mixing drum which produced the “Pebblecote” substance that was designed to provide decorative finishes for ceilings and walls.
He also loaded raw materials and loaded finished materials on to delivery lorries and in doing all of this was exposed to substantial quantities of dust.
Mr Hutchinson was diagnosed as suffering from asbestos pleural disease and asbestosis and instructed Andrew Morgan to make a claim.
Pebblecote (Holdings) Limited was a relatively small company that operated for many years near Worthing in Sussex.
Andrew made a claim to the company which was passed to the company’s brokers. Unfortunately, the brokers could not trace any insurers so the employer dealt with the claim direct.
Andrew had previously undertaken enquiries and established that the company itself probably had sufficient assets to pay the claim, even without insurance cover.
Andrew issued Court proceedings and the case was listed for trial in the High Court in London on 7 June 2011. Just less than two weeks before trial Andrew was able to settle the case for £91,630.20.
“It is sometimes difficult to find insurers to pay compensation in asbestos disease claims because the insurance industry does not keep central records. However, if the employer is still trading it is still possible to obtain compensation even when the employer cannot find its own insurers. This case highlights the need for an “Employer’s Liability Insurance Bureau” to act as an insurer of last resort, as much to protect employers as to protect employees who have contracted asbestos diseases”.
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