Access Legal from Shoosmiths has reported a significant compensation win for a former prison officer diagnosed with mesothelioma.
The 63 year old, who was diagnosed with the fatal illness in June 2011, sought advice from Access Legal from Shoosmiths, concerned to ensure his wife would be adequately provided for in the event of his inevitable death. The Yorkshire man had worked for the prison service in the 1990’s up until the early 2000’s. It was during this period that he was exposed to asbestos when he was required to inspect the prison boiler houses, roofs and cellars which contained asbestos and were in a poor state of repair.
The prison authorities also arranged for asbestos removal in parts of the prison and, while the contractors actually carrying out the work took precautions, his employers did not make provision to ensure he was adequately protected during the times when he came into contact with the asbestos. Nor did they give him any training on the dangers of asbestos in the course of carrying out his normal duties to ensure the security of the prison, which inevitably required him to enter areas where removal work was being carried out. It was therefore while conducting his normal and expected work as a prison officer that he was exposed to the hazardous dust.
After receiving instructions from the client, Sara Hunt, Access Legal partner and asbestos specialist, began to assemble all the medical evidence required for the case. Mesothelioma is a malignant and sadly incurable illness. Once contracted, all medical intervention can hope to achieve is to relieve the symptoms and pain and marginally increase life expectancy. Mesothelioma can be caused by one single asbestos fibre and can take as long as 40-60 years before someone exposed to asbestos will develop the illness. Despite his pessimistic prognosis, the former prison officer insisted that Access Legal pursue the mesothelioma claim so that his wife would be adequately provided for.
Sara Hunt, partner and asbestos specialist commented: “Compensation can never replace someone’s good health but in this case we could at least ensure that his wife would be financially secure for the future which was our client’s main objective.”
On settlement Access Legal’s client said: “A heartfelt thanks from my wife and me for your attentiveness and professionalism. Thank you to you, your staff and colleagues in pursuit of my claim.”