GMB Recovers Damages for Widow and Family Following Asbestos Exposure

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GMB member’s family receives £340,000 damages following asbestos exposure. “This is a significant settlement on behalf of a member who obviously would have preferred his health than compensation,” says GMB Southern

A GMB member was employed by Spousal (Midlands) Limited and Cape Darlington Limited as an apprentice lagger and then a lagger from 1967 through to 1976. He was exposed to considerable amounts of asbestos whilst carrying out his asbestos lagging duties.


He was diagnosed as suffering from asbestosis and whilst still alive obtained a provisional damages order in 2008.  This provided that he was allowed to return to court in the event of any serious deterioration in disability.


Unfortunately his condition did deteriorate and he recommenced his claim in May 2016. He sadly died in June 2016 aged 64.  The death certificate and post mortem confirmed that he had died from asbestosis caused as a result of his previous exposure to asbestos.


The GMB member’s widow was able to continue with the claim for damages. Proceedings were issued. There was reluctance from the insurers to settle the case but the matter eventually settled at a joint settlement meeting with damages being agreed in the sum of £340,000.


Following the settlement, the GMB member’s son said: "Unfortunately my dad passed away before this case was resolved but, in the end, it was successful. I just want to say to other families who may be going through this that no matter how hard it becomes or how hard the insurance companies make it, do not give up hope. Insurance companies can act in such a way to try and make you give up but don’t give up. Fight all the way.


"GMB have been fantastic throughout and I want to say thank you especially to our GMB appointed lawyer Phillip Gower of UnionLine / Simpson Millar LLP for pulling everything together.


"This was a complex case and he pulled everything together, drawing in so many different professionals and we would never have gotten to where we are without him and GMB."


"The claim involved numerous complex legal issues including provisional damages and the re-opening of a claim for damages plus damages following death. The case highlights the need for specialist advice in the area of asbestos exposure and fatal accident claims."


Phillip Gower, of GMB lawyers: UnionLine / Simpson Millar LLP said: "The GMB member was determined quite rightly to pursue the claim for damages following the deterioration in his health and the claim was continued by his wife following his death. 


"The claim was upsetting and difficult for the widow and family and the claim also involved some complex issues but I am pleased to have been able to finally settle the case with the support and assistance from GMB."


Paul Maloney, Regional Secretary, GMB Southern Region, said: "This is a significant settlement on behalf of a member who obviously would have preferred his health than compensation. However, GMB is proud to have been able to assist him and his family throughout.


"There are tens of thousands of GMB members both current and ex members who have worked with asbestos and may be affected. They should contact GMB immediately if they have had any exposure to asbestos, however small.


"This could include anyone who works or has worked in schools, hospitals – construction workers, electricians, pipe fitters, carpenters and so on. Don’t delay, call GMB today."


Contact: Michelle Gordon  07866 369 259 or or GMB Press Office 07970 114 762