Heather’s clients suffer from a range of extremely serious conditions including asbestos-related lung cancer, pleural thickening, asbestosis and mesothelioma. She routinely deals with cases that involve employer’s and public liability including occupier’s liability, secondary exposure (for example overalls exposure) and environmental exposure.
Heather qualified as a solicitor in 2009 and has worked with Thompsons’ asbestos disease team since then. As an experienced specialist lawyer, Heather pursues complex cases including those where the asbestos exposure occurred with more than one employer. Given the extremely long incubation period of some of these diseases, she is also skilled in tracing the insurers of organisations which ceased to exist many years ago.
Heather uses her legal knowledge and her negotiating expertise to secure the highest possible compensation. Some of her clients need to finance private medical treatment, for which she endeavours to seek funding.
She tries to achieve the quickest possible settlement, given that many of her clients wish to see their claims resolved during their lifetime, ensuring their families are financially secure.
Heather is proud of Thompsons’ insistence on representing the victims of injustice rather than those accused of causing the injury. She points out that the firm has a long and proud history of fighting for social justice.
Away from work, Heather spends as much time as possible with her two children.
Heather’s case experience
Heather won £99,000 in damages for the family of a shipyard electrician whose diagnosis of asbestosis only emerged after his death. She was able to prove the link with former employers through evidence from witnesses and the use of Thompsons wide-ranging archives.
Heather secured a £27,500 provisional settlement for a former shipyard worker who contracted pleural thickening after working at various sites along the River Wear. Heather’s client will be able to obtain further compensation if his condition worsens or if he develops other asbestos-related diseases.
A labourer who worked in a factory which made asbestos products was awarded £82,000 after she was diagnosed with lung cancer and asbestosis. The employer’s insurer disputed the diagnoses, arguing that the lung condition had been caused by smoking. However Heather secured medical and engineering evidence to support the link between her client’s job and her chest condition and negotiated the settlement on her behalf.
“Just to say thank you for all your hard work you have done on Peter's and my behalf. Much appreciated. You all did a great job. Thank you once again. Carry on helping all who get this horrible disease. Take care.”
“We were delighted with the service from Thompsons. Our claim was dealt with efficiently and in a friendly manner. A personal thank you to Heather Ruddick who kept us up to speed in developments.”
“Dear Heather and associates I just wanted to write to thank all involved in my claim in relation to my late husband. I found the process very difficult due to my loss, but felt everyone involved with the claim were understanding and supportive. There were times when I found it so distressing that I felt could not continue, so I very much appreciated the sympathetic treatment and encouragement from you all as well as my family. Once again thank you all so much.”