Widow receives payout from Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme

Mr C was sadly diagnosed with a tumour of the lung in October 2010. There was some confusion however as to whether he was suffering from mesothelioma or an adenocarcinoma.

Symptoms

He started to suffer with a cough in the summer of 2010. He underwent chemotherapy and suffered with the unpleasant side effects. He became increasingly tired and lost a lot of weight. He sadly died more than three years later in January 2014. Mesothelioma was confirmed at post mortem. Mr C’s death was referred to the local Coroner and the post mortem report revealed that mesothelioma was indeed the cause of death.

J M Jones & Sons Limited

Mr C, who lived in Woodley, recalled asbestos exposure whilst working for a Maidenhead company known as J M Jones & Sons Limited. Mr C worked on some flats in Florence Road, Reading where there were raised walkways running to the Council flats. He was required to attach asbestos sheets to the underneath of the walkways. The asbestos sheets measured 8ft x 4ft and were called asbestolux. He cut the sheets using a handsaw and then fixed them to the walkway.

J M Jones & Sons Limited had been dissolved many years previously. This meant that to pursue a civil claim in the Court for compensation, Mr C’s representatives needed to trace the employers’ liability insurers for the relevant period of employment. J M Jones & Sons Limited appeared on Mr C’s Inland Revenue Schedule in the tax year 1966/67. This meant that he was employed between April 1966 and April 1967.

Mr C was therefore looking in particular for the insurers of J M Jones & Sons Limited prior to April 1967.

After much investigation, Mr C representatives managed to speak to the former company secretary of the holding company of J M Jones. He believed that the insurers were London & Lancashire Insurance, having offices in Reading. Royal & Sun Alliance are the insurers that took over the liabilities of London & Lancashire Insurance and when enquiries were made of RSA, they confirmed that they did indeed hold insurance cover for JM Jones & Sons Limited. However, the insurance cover, according to their records, began on 1 April 1967. Unfortunately for Mr C, this post-dated his employment with J M Jones.

Peter Everson Limited

Mr C also recalled asbestos exposure for a company called Peter Everson Limited for a few months in 1966/67 when he was doing second fixing and repair work that took him into boiler rooms. He occasionally chatted to the lagger who was lagging the pipes and boilers in the boiler house with asbestos. Again Peter Everson Limited was dissolved approximately 40 years ago and all records of this company were destroyed at Companies House so the representatives could not even make contact with any of the former directors or secretaries.

Unfortunately, this meant that Mr C could not pursue a civil claim in the Court and recover the compensation due to him for contraction of mesothelioma as there were no defendants or insurers to pay any compensation.

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme

However, those who were diagnosed with mesothelioma on or after 25 July 2012 may be eligible for some compensation through the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme. The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme was introduced in 2014 to provide mesothelioma sufferers who are unable to trace former employers and their insurers with some compensation. With the help of her representatives, Mrs C made the application which required her to prove that the mesothelioma was caused due to the negligence of her husband’s employers.

Mrs C received £119,713 under the scheme which provides for an age related tariff. Mr C was 72 years old when he died.

Although no amount of money will bring Mr C back, she is delighted that there has been some recognition that Mr C died as a result of a terrible disease that was no fault of his own. He was keen to pursue a civil claim in the Court during his lifetime and once he was told that his condition was likely to be asbestos related and was incurable, was further devastated when there was no entity to meet any award of damages. The scheme which was set up just before he died has now enabled his widow to gain some financial peace of mind at least.

Work and Pensions Minister, Lord Freud stated, “for years, many victims of this truly terrible disease have been failed by successive Governments and the insurance industry. With this scheme we are continuing to help the many victims and families that mesothelioma has left without financial support.”

Until February 2015 payments under the scheme were previously 80% of the average of the mesothelioma compensation claim. From 10 February 2015, the Government saw that those claims for mesothelioma compensation would receive 100% of the average claim through the fund.

Lord Freud said, “It is partly thanks to the success of the insurance industry in tracing liable insurers and employers that we are able to make these changes as part of our ongoing commitment to support mesothelioma sufferers. Though the majority of sufferers are able to claim compensation through the liability insurance held by their employer, a significant minority cannot. Due to the length of time between asbestos exposure and cancer diagnosis, many employers and their insurers no longer exist and so the liable successor organisations are often untraceable.”

If you or a loved one would like help with completing an application to the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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