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Decades Pass But Asbestos Exposure Continues to Take a Terrible Toll

Even fleeting exposure to asbestos can have dire consequences stretching decades into the future. In one case, the bereaved family of a man who died from asbestos-related cancer more than 40 years after he was briefly exposed whilst working at a hospital received six-figure recompense.

The man was in 2015 diagnosed with mesothelioma – a form of lung cancer almost invariably linked to asbestos exposure and notorious for the suffering it inflicts on victims. Having been exposed to asbestos in the 1970s, he was 74 when he succumbed to the disease in 2018. Almost to the end, he cared devotedly for his wife, who has dementia and was aged 79 when he died.

Proceedings were launched by the man's stepdaughter, acting as executor of his estate. A distressing trial of the action was, however, thankfully avoided after the Department of Health submitted to judgment and the family succeeded in negotiating a £300,000 settlement of the claim.

The widow lacked capacity to make important decisions for herself but had taken the sensible step of appointing her daughter to manage her affairs under a lasting power of attorney. The daughter had, so far as possible, stepped in to replace the man's caring services and was determined to look after her mother for as long as she could. The High Court approved the sensible settlement.

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