Mrs S was employed as a psychiatric nurse at the old psychiatric unit of St James's Hospital in Leeds from about 1966 to 1973. She had not been given any information or warnings about the asbestos present in the ancient building and had no personal knowledge about this at the time she was diagnosed as having mesothelioma in November 2010. Mrs S was not in contact with any former colleagues from St James's and the old building had been demolished.
A witness appeal in a local newspaper failed to produce any witnesses to support Mrs S's claim. However, based on our experience of the nature of the building and Mrs S's description of how she was probably exposed to asbestos there, we notified the claim to the relevant Health Authority.
Solicitors acting for the Health Authority obtained photographs and plans of the unit together with other information. Whilst investigating the presence of asbestos and exposure to it, they initially denied that Mrs S had mesothelioma because she was responding so well to treatment!
The claim was settled on a full liability basis by specialist mesothelioma partner Caroline Pinfold in October 2012. The compensation enabled Mrs S to take her granddaughter on the holiday of a lifetime and other activities that she had planned.
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