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Case Study

Self-employed man received 100% compensation

NR v. Eastern Gas Board

Our mesothelioma claims team for Mr NR and obtained compensation in full despite the fact that Mr NR was also exposed to asbestos whilst he was self-employed.

Mr NR was employed by the Eastern Gas Board as a fitter from 1955-1963.  From 1963-1973 he worked on a self employed basis.  However, during this period for about 90% of the time he worked exclusively on a contractual basis for the Eastern Gas Board.

Throughout 1955-1973 Mr NR was exposed to asbestos whilst undertaking his work as a gas fitter.

The Eastern Gas Board accepted that Mr NR was employed by them from 1955 to 1963, but denied that they engaged Mr NR as a gas fitting contractor and required Mr NR to prove it.

The Gas Board confirmed that even if Mr NR could prove that they contracted him, he remained responsible for his own safety and should have provided his own respiratory equipment and taken his own precautions against inhalation of asbestos fibres. We issued Court proceedings and obtained Judgment against the Eastern Gas Board, but the Eastern Gas Board alleged that Mr NR was contributory negligent and for this reason they refused to pay Mr NR 100% of his compensation.  The Eastern Gas Board argued that there should be a reduction for the years that Mr NR was self-employed.

During the course of proceedings Mr NR was offered compensation by the Eastern Gas Board on a reduced basis.  However, we advised Mr NR to reject it.  We are happy to report that the Eastern Gas Board, due to our persistence, eventually offered Mr NR compensation on a 100% basis.

Accordingly Mr NR received his compensation within his lifetime.

Mr NR was an active and popular member of the Federation of Small Businesses.  After receiving the compensation he commented:

"When we first considered claiming for compensation my family were very concerned about the possible stress this may cause me. 

"However, I found the process relatively stress-free and everything seemed to happen quite quickly. 

"You visited me at home only once to take a statement and everything else was completed by telephone calls and letters. The case was brought to a mutual agreement out of Court which I was very pleased about.

"I found that everything was handled with efficiency and speed.  I would be very happy to recommend Fieldfisher to anyone needing to claim compensation."

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