Dushal Mehta was instructed by the late Mr Ray Reeves to bring a claim following his diagnosis with mesothelioma. Mr Reeves recalled being exposed to asbestos whilst working as an apprentice tiler in the late 1950’s for a company called Hall & Co.
During the time that he worked for this company he recalled working close to others removing asbestos lagging without care and attention. Mr Reeves was required to sweep up the lagging so that he could tile the floors. Mr Reeves then recalled working for two other companies, Maxwell Walker Tiling Company and the London Tiling Company. Unfortunately, Mr Reeves’ condition deteriorated very quickly. It became apparent after his death that he was not in fact employed by the London Tiling Company. His work history from HMRC indicated that he was self-employed at the time. He was therefore not able to recover damages for the period that he was self-employed.
Dushal was unable to locate the insurers for Maxwell Tiling Company and that just left a claim against Hall & Co. The company had dissolved many years ago but it did have insurance in place at the time that Mr Reeves worked for the company. Dushal failed to get any substantive response from the insurers for Hall & Co. This only left the prospect of issuing court proceedings. Dushal instructed a barrister to advise on the case. The barrister advised that this was a case which was not worth pursuing. The exposure with Hall & Co was at a time when employers were only aware that substantial quantities of asbestos could cause mesothelioma. Mr Reeves’ evidence was not enough to establish negligence. We did not have enough evidence to show substantial exposure to asbestos whilst Mr Reeves was employed by Hall & Co.
Dushal was unable to secure insurance cover (to protect Mrs Reeves from paying the Defendants costs if the case was lost) for the claim due to the barrister’s unwillingness to support the case.
Despite this, Dushal issued court proceedings to try and negotiate a settlement for Mrs Reeves and her family. After proceedings were issued Dushal was able to secure a settlement for Mrs Reeves of £126,000.00 despite the numerous difficulties in the case.
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