Asbestos Claim highlights the importance of evidence

10th June 2014

Asbestos Claim highlights the importance of evidence

In a case which bitterly revealed the difficulty faced by litigants involved in historic asbestos cases, a widow who claimed that her husband’s death was caused by exposure to the lethal substance whilst working in a cemetery in the 1970s has received a judge’s sympathy – but not a penny in compensation.

The widow’s bricklayer husband of 40 years had – four months before he died from cancer in 2011 – recounted details of how he had inhaled asbestos dust whilst decorating a ceiling in a graveyard building. Her lawyers claimed that his employer at the time, a local authority, had failed in the duty of care it owed him.

The Court found that the widow was a ‘witness of truth’ and that her husband had probably been describing work that he had done on the ceiling of a mess room used by gravediggers. However, three subsequent surveys of the building had not revealed any traces of asbestos.

The judge ruled, “At the end of the day, I am driven to the conclusion that, whatever he must have believed on looking back at events, I am not satisfied that there was any form of plaster or decorative coating that contained asbestos. Whilst I have great sympathy with the deceased, and for his widow, I am compelled to conclude that the burden of proof has not been discharged and that the claim must be dismissed.”

This unfortunate case highlights the vital importance of ensuring that a full and detailed account is obtained from the person suffering from the asbestos related disease as to where, how and when he worked with asbestos before it is too late and the evidence is lost.

Instructing a solicitor following diagnosis will help to ensure that as much evidence as possible can be obtained at an early stage, including details of other workers who may have worked with the asbestos victim since there evidence can often be crucial to help support a compensation claim.

If you, or someone you know needs legal assistance in respect of any related issues please contact James Davies on0800 091 4251 or complete our online enquiry form.

Blog Posts

Jeremy Hunt launches new Charity to monitor patient safety

18/10/2019

It will be called Patient Safety Watch, and the former health secretary will chair…

Read More
Upcoming Events

How to ensure your employees really ARE your greatest asset

24/09/2019

This is an invitation only event. Gotelee's employment law Partners, Andrew West and Marie…

Read More
News Posts

New Managing Partner announced at Gotelee Solicitors LLP

03/10/2019

Gotelee Solicitors LLP has announced today that Andrew West, partner for 11 of his…

Read More

Testimonials

"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"I would like to say thank you for your help, support and guidance over the last two and a half years. Obviously should I need further assistance in the future I shall not hesitate to call you guys."

-

"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"

-

"I have used Tracey Laflin at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."

- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd

"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"

-

"“ This is the second time we have used Tracey for the conveyancing to buy our new home. She is always completely approachable, she has helped us along the way with advice and useful tips that has helped lessen the stress. We have complete confidence in her and would not hesitate to recommend her to our friends and family”.  - Peter Dawes, Cater Dawes Financial Planning "

-

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."

-

"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."

- Ros Jones

Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact. All web enquiries will be stored on our website for 30 days.