Thompsons Solicitors has been successful in obtaining compensation for a client with an asbestos related disease despite many of his former employers no longer trading and their insurers being untraced.

Thompsons secured £20,000 in damages for the pensioner from Ely in Cambridgeshire in a claim against two employers, Carillion (AM) Ltd and Law Bros (Builders) Ltd whose insurers were traced. But he had also been exposed to asbestos by a number of other employers in the Cambridgeshire area, including S W Tebitt, RJ Sindall & Sons and Lister Caravans. Those companies no longer exist and their insurer could not be found.

The 78-year-old was exposed to asbestos on a daily basis without any protection or warning about the risks.

Diagnosed with asbestosis

He was diagnosed with asbestosis in November 2006. It came as a huge shock for him and his wife of 51 years.

The disease can be debilitating for sufferers and often leaves them breathless and unable to walk long distances.

Following the diagnosis he instructed Thompsons Solicitors to enquire about claiming compensation.

In an asbestosis claim each employer is liable to contribute to the compensation in proportion to the amount of the disease they caused. Where the insurer of an employer which has gone out of business cannot be found the claimant is unable to obtain all or part of the damages.

Thompsons was able to secure for this client a full and final settlement of 79% of the total claim from Carillion (AM) Limited and Law Brothers.

Lorna Webster from Thompsons Solicitors said: “The two employers agreed to accept 79% liability for this client’s development of asbestosis after having originally only offered 59%.

“This case highlights the problems in claims involving employers who no longer exist and where their insurer cannot be found. In these circumstances it means that an asbestosis sufferer can only recover part of their compensation.”