A High Court ruling may help hundreds of North Staffordshire residents claim the compensation they deserve to cope with the suffering caused by exposure to asbestos.
Around 2,300 people in the UK are diagnosed as Mesothelioma sufferers each year.
Ashley Attwood of Attwood Solicitors says that a landmark ruling in favour of a former British Coal worker means that compensation levels for victims should increase by thousands of pounds.
A 92-year-old claimant was awarded £50,000 compensation by the High Court after he developed asbestos related cancer.
The figure is significantly higher than the £35,000 recommended by the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) for cases where the suffering is relatively short lived.
Mr Attwood, whose firm has been successful in winning compensation for hundreds of victims in industrial illness cases, said: “Lord Justice Swift said the appropriate award for Mesothelioma should be significantly above the lower guidelines set out by the JSB, even when the period of suffering has been relatively short.
“As is common with Mesothelioma, the claimant had been diagnosed late in life and the defendant in the case, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, had recommended that the amount of compensation he received should be lower because of that.
“However, the ruling makes it clear that regardless of the amount of time the victim lives following their diagnosis, they should be appropriately compensated for the pain and suffering they endure.
“This ruling paves the way for other elderly sufferers to receive settlements which reflect the pain and distress the disease causes, regardless of their age.”
Mesothelioma does not generally develop until 30 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos.
Symptoms of the cancer include breathlessness, pain in the chest wall, weight loss, a cough that doesn’t go away and abdominal pan.
When asbestos is disturbed or broken it produces fibres which can settle in the lungs.
Asbestos was commonly used in UK industries until the ban on imports of blue and brown asbestos in the 1980s. The use of all types of asbestos was banned in 1999.
For further information contact Ashley Attwood on 01782 416016 www.attwoodsolicitors.co.uk.
Notes to Editors: Attwood Solicitors has offices in Stoke and Burslem. They are personal injury experts and have helped people throughout the UK claim compensation following an accident, injury at work or in medical negligence cases.