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Case Study

Pay-out for dedicated husband allows widow to remain in family home

Aged 15, Alan began an apprenticeship as a painter and decorator with a local Manchester firm – Jones & Jackson - based in Trafford Park. Alan worked on industrial and commercial buildings on behalf of the firm, as well as in schools and hospitals.

He painted pipes that had been insulated with asbestos and used a brush to prepare the surfaces for painting. He often saw degrading lagging where bits were strewn on the floor.

When painting around the boilers, he described crawling on top of them to reach the difficult small spaces. He wasn’t warned of the dangers of asbestos or given any masks to wear despite the difficult conditions.

Alan married Margaret and during their long and successful marriage, they built their lives around their home in Salford with a strong local community where everyone in the street knew each other.

Margaret, who suffered from COPD, depended on Alan for help around the home and with driving, since breathlessness associated with the condition severely restricted what she could manage.

Over time, her husband took on all the cooking, cleaning and housework. Sadly, the tables turned when Alan became ill.

The defendants admitted liability and an early interim compensation was paid to the family. Sadly, Alan died in 2018. It was clear that the final award of compensation would need to enable Margaret to obtain paid help to replace the assistance she had previously had from Alan.

A specialist care report detailed the hours of care needed and Margaret employed someone she could rely on to help her as needed. When the final award was negotiated, it was significantly higher than earlier offers since it included funds to continue paying for help paid to ensure that Margaret could remain in the family home with her family and community around her.

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