Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. The dangers of asbestos have been known for many years and there are now strict regulations in place to protect those who work in close proximity to this dangerous material.
The difficult thing about mesothelioma is that quite often, if someone is exposed to asbestos, they might not develop symptoms for 10, 15 or even 20 years. For individuals who were working with asbestos in the 1980s, before strict regulations were in place, this means that they could begin to see symptoms appear even now.
Kenneth Cooper was one of the unlucky ones. Many years ago Mr Cooper was working with pipes lagged with asbestos in a factory in Bradford, Yorkshire. Relatively recently he began developing symptoms which suggested he was suffering with mesothelioma. In 2007, Mr Cooper died of his illness.
Ever since his death, Mr Cooper’s wife, Margaret, has been fighting to get her husband’s former employers to admit liability for his illness. She has had to battle for a very long time but she has recently won a court battle and an asbestos compensation claim package thought to be in excess of £100,000.
Legal difficulty with asbestos compensation claims
From a legal perspective, the difficulty when dealing with asbestos compensation claims is that, due to the long time gap between exposure and the development of symptoms, tracing the source of the original exposure can be very difficult. Also, even if the source is correctly identified and proven, it is very rare that a company that was trading 25 years ago is still in full operation. Another obstacle to overcome is the tracing of insurance companies. In many cases the ultimate liability will lie with the company’s insurance company rather than the company themselves. In these situations it is also necessary to trace the insurance company which provided cover when the exposure occurred. There are many factors which require in depth research and many elements which can greatly delay proceedings.
Mrs Cooper was determined to get the compensation her husband deserved and was rewarded in the end. If you believe that you have an illness which is related to exposure to asbestos, you should seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible.