After receiving his shocking diagnosis, Mr X did not pursue a legal claim in his lifetime as he assumed that he would have nothing to gain, particularly as his former employer had long since ceased trading. Having experienced such a devastating loss, his adult children were clear that no amount of money would be adequate compensation, but wanted some recognition of the fact that he had suffered needlessly. They were also curious as to whether it would even be possible to pursue a claim against a company that no longer existed, given that this had not been pursued in their father's lifetime, and he did not leave a surviving spouse. Despite their lack of confidence in a successful outcome, they approached Fieldfisher for advice. Fortunately, in addition to identifying the employers' liability insurers on risk at the time Mr X was exposed to asbestos, we managed to trace a former colleague, who was able to provide clear evidence of the conditions in which they had both worked and, in particular, details of exposure.
Mr X's family provided care throughout his illness, and witnessed at first hand the terrible impact of mesothelioma on his day to day life. One of his daughters, a specialist nurse, kept what she knew about the likely course of his symptoms to herself for as long as possible, in order to support her father and the rest of the family. She and her siblings ensured that he was provided with the highest level of care and support. They were also keen to recover costs for the hospice team that supported them in accessing services in the community and providing comfort to their father in his final hours.
Sadly, it is common for us to be approached by the families of mesothelioma victims after they have passed away. Even in the absence of a direct account of their exposure to asbestos, it is still possible to pursue successful legal claims on the basis of evidence from former colleagues or family members or friends with whom they have shared memories of their experiences. Given that it can take decades for the effects of asbestos exposure to manifest, we frequently pursue claims where the negligent employer has ceased trading, which is rarely an insurmountable problem. We also routinely recover costs incurred by hospices in providing their services.
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