The family of asbestosis sufferer, the late Mr Potter, has received compensation following his death in July 2016.
Mr Potter’s family was represented by asbestos lawyer Daniel Easton who was approached by Mr Potter’s son to ask for assistance with the Inquest into his death.
In England an inquest is always held where a death is caused by asbestos. Mr Potter had worked for many years for Cape Asbestos in Uxbridge as a maintenance fitter.
Mr Potter had himself provided several statements in support of Leigh Day clients in the past who were pursuing asbestosis and mesothelioma claims against Cape. On reviewing the evidence Daniel advised Mr Potter’s family that they may too be entitled to compensation.
There was a serious question as to whether Mr Potter’s claim was ‘out of time’. In asbestos disease claims there is a three-year time limit, from the victim’s ‘Date of Knowledge’ as to when they had an asbestos illness, in which to claim.
Mr Potter’s medical records had references to asbestos disease going back to 1999 and he had been in receipt of State Benefits since 2005. There was, therefore, a serious risk the claim could not proceed because it was out of time.
Nonetheless, we advised the family that we considered there were reasonable grounds to ask the Court to allow the claim to proceed out of time and agreed to represent Mr Potter’s family in a claim against Cape Asbestos after having represented them at the Inquest.
When looking at the three-year time period, the Court has to consider whether the defendant is at a disadvantage because the evidence has been affected by the passage of time. There was a particular disadvantage in this case because Mr Potter was no longer around to answer questions about his employment. However, the fact that he had provided statements in the past was decisive in persuading us that the claim should succeed.
We presented the claim to Cape Asbestos at the end of 2016 and managed to negotiate a good settlement for Mr Potter’s family approximately six months later without the need for Court proceedings.
Asbestos lawyer Daniel Easton said:
“Despite the legal challenges in Mr Potter’s case we were able to achieve a good settlement for his family following his exposure to asbestos in the workplace.”