A court ruling has given hope to the thousands of families that have been affected by the ‘Swindon disease’ – a term given to sufferers of mesothelioma and other asbestos related deaths due to the disproportionate numbers of people suffering from the disease.
Veronica Bussey had taken her case to The Court of Appeal, who ruled that she could claim for her husband David, who died from an asbestos related disease. The judgment relates to a technical note from almost 50-years ago that had prevented compensation from being claimed up to this point. The note stated that exposure to asbestos had to be proved to be above a certain threshold.
The ruling could now make it easier for many other families in the country to seek mesothelioma compensation and other asbestos related claims for compensation where they have previously been blocked from doing so. This could include the chance for families to secure funding for immunotherapy treatment.
Mr Bussey was exposed to asbestos when working for Anglia Heating as a plumber between 1965 and 1968, becoming unwell in later life with mesothelioma and dying from the disease in January 2016. His former employer did not pay out any compensation to his widow because the level of exposure was below the level required by a document published in 1970 by the HM Factories Inspectorate.
The recent ruling by The Court of Appeal stated that this threshold should be looked at as a guide, rather than a firm benchmark where compensation can either be awarded or not. The original judge has been asked to return to the case and consider whether the company should be liable, which will be of interest to personal injury solicitors looking at this and similar cases.
Swindon has given its name to asbestos related illnesses due to the disproportionate amount of cases in the area. Workers who were employed by the railway workshops in the city suffered terribly at the hands of mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses and the overall legacy of industrial diseases in the town and wider region is staggering as the number of deaths due to these causes continues to rise (around 2,500 deaths per year are recorded nationwide).
The generation affected by exposure to asbestos in an industrial setting are unlikely to be the last unfortunately. Younger people are starting to become ill from mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses, including office workers, teachers and former pupils of schools where there was a lower, but regular exposure to asbestos in the buildings they spent most of their time.
This latest judgment from The Court of Appeal could mean that more people can gain the compensation and peace of mind that they deserve when suffering from a terrible illness that was no fault of their own. For more information on the implications of such a case, you could look at the compensation injury calculator sections of many legal firms and their websites.
Summary: A legal breakthrough has given hope to individuals and families affected by regular asbestos exposure in Swindon. For more details, read the latest updates on the issue.