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Occupational disease claims: claiming against more than one employer

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Most people will be aware of the fact it is possible to make a claim against a previous employer for asbestos related illness compensation, where it can be proved that the employer was at fault. But fewer know it is possible to claim against more than one former employer, which is exactly what the family of former shipyard worker William Galloway did after he contracted, and died from, mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos throughout his working career.

Mr Galloway started work as a lagger at the age of 16, during which time he was exposed to asbestos. Later in his career, he worked at various factories in Birkenhead and then on the Merseyside docks.

Mr Galloway retired at the age of 58. He was a keen walker and dancer, but some 15 years after his retirement, he started to suffer from shortness of breath after exercising. In 2008 he was admitted to hospital after suffering a small stroke and whilst there, an X-ray revealed he had a growth on his lungs. Five months later, he died from mesothelioma, an aggressive form of asbestos-related cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs.

Sadly, many victims of mesothelioma die before they receive any compensation because the symptoms take many years to reveal themselves. In Mr Galloway’s case, he had commenced a claim against his former employers and the claim was continued by his daughter after he died.

Employers pay £90,000 in compensation

The insurers of all his former employers who were found to be responsible for his illness agreed a total settlement of £90,000. A payment of £2,400 was also made to the hospice where Mr Galloway spent the final weeks of his life.

It is common for occupational diseases, such as asbestos-related illnesses, to be attributed to more than one place of work and in these cases it is possible for claims to be made against all of the employers concerned. Claims can also be made against companies that have since ceased trading.

It is important that a highly specialist solicitor is engaged to handle cases of this type; one that has particular expertise in pursuing multiple employers and reinstating companies or tracking down insurers.

At Stephensons, we have specialist occupational disease claims solicitors with this specific experience and expertise who can help you claim the compensation to which you, or your loved one, is entitled. To discuss your case in confidence, call us on 01616 966 229.

By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney