BVC worker claims for Mesothelioma
£390,000 Awarded in 2020
Mr M had been exposed to asbestos while working for Goblin BVC (British Vacuum Cleaners) Ltd. Goblin was the trade name of the company's domestic vacuum cleaners. Popular models included the 1970s Housemaid cleaner and the compact Rio cleaner of the 1980s.
In 1937 BVC acquired The Magneta Time Company, who manufactured clocks for use in post offices, telephone exchanges and other industrial and commercial settings.
In 1947 Magneta, who remained separate division of BVC started to manufacture public address systems and industrial radio receivers.
By 1969 they also made music systems and electronic security systems.
Mr M was employed by the company to install alarm and public address systems for large industrial complexes like Port Talbot Steelworks and Hinckley B Power Station. He also travelled to army bases, including American Air force bases in East Anglia.
He did not use asbestos during the installation process but was often in the vicinity of those who did - pipe fitters and construction workers. Hinckley B Power Station was riddled with asbestos and sometimes he would have to chip away at asbestos lagged pipes, ceilings and walls to fit the systems. He did this work alongside his father and had little in the way of masks or protective equipment, so would breathe in the dust laden with asbestos fibres.
Diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma aged 64
Unfortunately his father fell ill in the 1980s and was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, so Mr M always feared that he too could develop the disease. Those fears were confirmed a couple of years ago, when aged just 64 he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. At the time he was working in property maintenance on a full time basis.
Shortly after this our mesothelioma solicitors were instructed to pursue a claim against the insurers of BVC. As he was unable to work after the diagnosis our solicitors quickly applied for the Government interim payment to cover any costs incurred from travel and treatment. A payment of around £26K was paid a few weeks afterwards.
Mr M rented a flat on the 3rd floor of a building with no lift access. He also rented a garage to store a lifetime of possessions. The claim therefore included the rental cost of alternative ground floor accommodation, however he became very poorly shortly after the diagnosis and was not able to move his possessions. The full commercial rent of an additional property was therefore claimed and recovered in full. Our solicitors also recovered the cost of a case manager to assist Mr M with the recruitment of carers as the mesothelioma progressed.
Has the Coronavirus pandemic affected the mesothelioma claim?
Pleural mesothelioma patients may be at special risk from the Coronavirus as their lungs are already compromised by the breathing problems likely to result from mesothelioma. Therefore, Mr M is likely to live the duration of his lifetime in a form of lockdown. An extra provision in the compensation claim was made for this “loss of amenity”.
He had planned to work until the age of 70, so the claim took into account the projected loss of earnings during this period. The insurers of BVC also agreed to cover the future costs of medical bills and treatment that included new oncology treatments and expensive private immunotherapy treatment.
The case settled recently for £390K. There is the possibility of a claim in America for the time spent at the American airbases where he was also exposed to asbestos.
If you have any questions about the claims process for asbestos diseases, including mesothelioma, please call us on the number below and ask for Warren Miller or Kathy Cooke
Rachel is a Senior Associate and Head of the Oxford Industrial Disease Team at Royds Withy King. Rachel regularly writes articles and edits the team newsletter “Airborne”. She also organises annual mesothelioma and lung cancer study days and speaks regularly at these events on topics linked to asbestos disease law.. Read more >