Six figure settlement for widow of successful West Midlands Businessman
27 Nov 2022
The widow of a successful West Midlands based businessman has recovered £365,000 in compensation for her late husband’s death due to asbestos cancer mesothelioma.
Employer: Slumberland, Redfern Road, Tyseley, Birmingham
Interim Payment: £100,000
Final Settlement: £365,000
Peter was exposed to asbestos in his first job after leaving school when he worked for Birmingham based bed manufacturer, Slumberland. Peter made and upholstered bed bases in a factory riddled with asbestos lagged pipes. The lagging was in a poor condition with debris and dust falling on work surfaces and the floor around Peter. Maintenance men repaired the asbestos lagged pipes whilst Peter and his colleagues worked nearby. Labourers and even Peter swept up at the end of the day and disturbed the asbestos dust.
Even though Peter didn’t handle or work with asbestos himself, he was exposed to the deadly dust. Slumberland broke the law by allowing this to happen.
Peter’s exposure took place in the late 1960s and 1970s. Forty years later, at the age of 64, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Peter endured gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy treatment with a drug called Pembrolizumab.
Peter was a successful businessman. He ran home furnishings business in the West Midlands with his wife Christine and son. He was a hardworking man, a workaholic, who loved his job. Following his devastating diagnosis, his main concern was his wife and making sure she would be financially secure after he was gone.
Peter instructed Fozia Hussain, a partner and specialist asbestos solicitor with the firm.
During Peter’s lifetime Fozia was able to secure an admission of liability and £100,000 as an interim payment of compensation. Sadly, Peter’s condition deteriorated rapidly after he started immunotherapy treatment so he passed away before his claim could be concluded. Before his death Fozia was able to reassure him that ultimately his case would be successful and Christine would recover significant compensation.
After Peter’s death a court action was started against Slumberland’s insurers. Christine’s case settled a few weeks before it was due to go to court for £365,000.
“For my husband to be diagnosed with a terminal illness at the age of 64, having only minor illnesses throughout his life, was devastating news. Our main concern was treatment available to us and not of any financial implications, which we hadn’t thought about. We were advised by a cancer nurse at our first appointment to contact the asbestos support group to put in a claim. We did not know this was available to us. They in turn completed paperwork during a home visit and gave us the name of a firm who dealt with mesothelioma cases. My husband contacted Fozia Hussain at The Asbestos Law Partnership who immediately made an appointment to visit us at home. The support we received during this very traumatic time from Fozia both professionally and personally was second to none. A great weight was taken off our shoulders at a time where we only thought of the next hospital appointment and treatment. I cannot thank enough the local asbestos support group or the legal representation and personal support we received from Fozia Hussain at a very upsetting and devastating time in our lives. The settlement obtained, which my husband insisted upon fighting for, has given me a secure financial future.” Christine
“Peter made it clear from the outset he was not pursuing the claim for himself. His main motivation was to secure Christine’s future. Before he was diagnosed the couple’s retirement plan was he would continue working whilst Christine retired. He did not want his illness to scupper Christine’s plans. His selfless courage was evident in each conversation we had. I am beyond pleased that we were able to secure what Peter set out to achieve.” Fozia Hussain, Solicitor acting for Peter and Christine
Peter was supported by Asbestos Support Central England who helped him apply for government benefits during his lifetime.