A recently resolved personal injury claim has led to a ruling that has provided new hope to hospices that provide care for those suffering from lung cancer mesothelioma which found that an engineering company would be liable to pay a portion of the costs towards care of a former employee.
Engineering business Foster Wheeler was found liable, after a legal battle spanning the last three years, to pay approximately £10,000 towards the care of former employee James Wilson, who died at the age of 76 three years ago whilst residing in est London’s St Joseph’s Hospice.
Mr Wheeler purportedly fell ill with the highly virulent form of lung cancer after exposure to the toxic material asbestos in the course of his employment at Foster Wheeler, particularly when he performed work in the 1950s at Deptford power station for the company.
The daily cost of care at St Joseph’s Hospice, 35 per cent of which are covered by the NHS, is approximately £900, but the personal injury solicitors retained by St Joseph’s argued successfully that since the remainder of the costs, some 65 per cent, are habitually supplied by charitable donations, any firms or companies that could be proved as responsible for their employees’ exposure to a known carcinogen should be held liable for a portion of those costs.
The legal ruling, which has been described by ground-breaking by personal injury compensation experts, may very well pave the way for thousands of claims from hospices in similar situations across the length and breadth of the UK.
Mesothelioma, a completely incurable and incredibly deadly form of lung cancer, usually leads to death within one year, and has been linked legally to exposure to asbestos, though typically the disease can take several decades to actually present itself in a patient.