Dushal Mehta was instructed to bring a claim for Mrs Mary Patricia Griffin who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Mary was aged 47 and had three children aged 23, 20 and 16.
From the age of 18, she had worked for the London Borough of Hillingdon in their Housing Department and had worked her way up to an Assistant Estates Manager by the time she was diagnosed with the asbestos condition. She instructed Dushal Mehta to bring a claim for her against her employer, the London Borough of Hillingdon.
She recalled working on various housing projects and on the modernisation of various estates. She was required to attend many council properties two or three times a week to ensure that the work was being completed on time. She project managed the work. She was not given any health and safety advice or warned of the dangers of asbestos. She believed that some of the properties may have contained asbestos.
Dushal carried out extensive research into the various estates where Mary had worked to establish when the properties were built and whether they contained asbestos. This included extensive research in the local libraries and speaking to various architects and historians in the local area. Dushal was able to establish that many of the properties that Mary would have worked in contained asbestos at the time. Photographs were obtained of the properties that she would have visited.
Dushal obtained medical evidence which supported Mary’s claim and this was sent to the London Borough of Hillingdon. On the day that the council admitted liability for Mary’s illness she sadly died. Dushal continued with the claim on behalf of Mary’s widower and for the children. Dushal was able to secure a settlement of £275,000 for the family.
This case highlighted the difficulties that solicitors now face in many mesothelioma cases. Mary was a relatively young woman to have been diagnosed with this terrible illness and her exposure had occurred in the late 1980s in unusual circumstances. Dushal was, however, able to secure evidence of the presence of asbestos in many of the houses that Mary worked in, and this was sufficient to attribute liability to the London Borough of Hillingdon.
"This case highlights the growing trend in mesothelioma claims. We are representing more and more women suffering with this terrible illness and some still have young families to care for. Whilst this illness is of course terrible and devastating to all families whatever the age of the victim, it is particularly distressing when it affects such a young family.”
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