Asbestos Compensation

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1 Asbestos Compensation Seventh Edition John Pickering and Partners LLP 2009 Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty s Stationery Office.

2 The Legal 500 Legal Directory John Pickering and Partners LLP is a specialist practice that has represented claimants in asbestos test cases over the last decade. The team secured a victory last year allowing former dock workers to sue the government for asbestos illnesses. (2008) Chambers and Partners Legal Directory says about John Pickering and Partners This established firm with an enviable reputation is acclaimed for its track record and expertise in leading many important industrial disease cases. Acting only on behalf of claimants and exclusively in niche occupational asthma, asbestos and other disease claims, it receives praise for its ground-breaking work and straightforward, dedicated approach. In the words of one observer: The fact that all the partners are hands-on asbestos claim litigators is a real strength as it ensures quality in every case. The firm is known for its union work, and partner Kevin Johnson retains his reputation as a pre-eminent practitioner in the field. (2008) Liverpool Law Society Legal Awards 2009 Personal Injury Team of the Year John Pickering and Partners is a niche personal injury practice specialising in asbestos related disease claims, acting only for claimants. They have been involved in numerous high profile cases and the successful lobbying, together with others, of the Government to include an amendment to the Compensation Act This legislative change reversed the effect of a decision of the House of Lords in the case of Sylvia Barker v Corus UK Plc.

3 Contents 4 If you get a disease caused by asbestos 5 These are the types of asbestos disease 12 How you can get asbestos disease 17 John Pickering and Partners LLP Charitable Trust 18 Pneumoconiosis (Workers compensation) Act 1979 and The Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme Paying for the case 22 The State Benefits system 26 Posthumous State Benefits 27 How to claim UK State benefits from overseas 28 How much will you get in a court action? 30 Why do you need a solicitor? 31 Questions to ask a solicitor 33 How do you know if your solicitor is any good? 34 What do you do if your solicitor turns your case down? 35 About John Pickering and Partners 37 Sources of information and help 38 The Partners at John Pickering and Partners 39 What our clients say

4 If you get a disease caused by asbestos If you are told you have an illness caused by asbestos, ask your chest consultant what sort of asbestos disease you have got. Some diseases are more serious than others, and it is important not to become too anxious too soon. Time Limits You should also get legal advice quickly, both about compensation you can get through the Courts and about benefits you can get from the Government. When you are told you have an asbestos disease, you normally have 3 years to start a court action. If you have left it longer than 3 years, this time limit can sometimes be overcome. The quicker court proceedings can be started, the better it is likely to be for you. You have to be able to show that your employers were to blame. If you have breathed in asbestos dust at work without proper protection during the last 45 years, your employers will probably be at fault. If it was more than 45 years ago, you still have a good case if you were exposed to a lot of dust. In practice, employers will often accept the blame if your solicitor presses ahead with a court action. You have to remember where you breathed in asbestos dust. This may have been many years ago, and you will have to write down your jobs from starting work, and list those where you came into contact with asbestos. If you can t remember exposure to asbestos at work, think whether you ever lived with someone who worked with asbestos, or lived near an asbestos factory. As soon as you are told that you have an asbestos-related condition, or your doctor suspects that you have such a condition, you should claim the appropriate benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If you have got any asbestos disease except pleural plaques through being employed and coming into contact with asbestos at work, you should apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, using form BI 100PN. There is more about this later. At the same time, consider getting compensation from whoever exposed you to asbestos dust, usually your employers, but perhaps the suppliers or manufacturers of asbestos products. what happens if your employer is no longer in business You may not know whether your employers are still in business, but your solicitor will find out. Even if your employer no longer exists, they can be brought back into existence so that you could still get compensation. It is only worthwhile bringing the company back into existence if you or your solicitor can find out who insured your employer while you worked there. At the same time, you or your solicitor on your behalf should apply for a payment under Government schemes under The Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 you will only get such a payment if the DWP awards you Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for an asbestosrelated condition. Alternatively, claim under The Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme see page 17 for details. 4 FREEPHONE

5 A big problem with old cases is finding out You do not need to identify all of the employers who the employers liability insurers were. who exposed you to asbestos. Courts will Insurers often will not own up readily years find that any job which made a significant after employment is finished, and they often contribution to the total amount of asbestos have to be made to accept responsibility. dust you breathed in during your working We have being doing these cases for many life will have contributed to the disease. You years and have the insurance details of will be compensated in full for some asbestos many companies. diseases, even though you can only go against an employer who was responsible for a part of the asbestos dust you have breathed in. These are the types of asbestos disease... Pleural plaques This is the least serious form of asbestos disease. Plaques are scars in the lining of your lungs, visible on x-ray, but in most cases you will not know you have them. Often, you will have no breathlessness or disability. Plaques are a marker of asbestos exposure. Your chest consultant will tell you whether they are caused by asbestos. Plaques usually develop 10 to 20 years after your exposure to asbestos. Plaques are much more common than asbestosis itself, probably because you need less asbestos exposure to cause them. In themselves, plaques are not dangerous, but because you have been exposed to asbestos, you will probably have a small risk of more serious illness in the future. The risks, which vary from person to person, are that you may get: pleural effusions or pleural thickening asbestosis lung cancer caused by asbestos mesothelioma Most people worry because they have plaques. For this, Judges used to award compensation against your employers. The insurers were successful in 2007 in stopping compensation to people with pleural plaques. The law in Scotland has changed to allow those people who had exposure in Scotland to claim compensation. We wait to hear as to whether the law will change in England and Wales. When we speak to you, we shall update you as to the current law. This is a fast moving area of the law. Please don t hesitate to telephone us, we are happy to provide such information without charge. Benign pleural effusion This means a build up of fluid in your chest cavity. This can be treated, and you can make a complete recovery. But often, this condition becomes pleural thickening. John Pickering and Partners LLP

6 Diffuse pleural fibrosis or thickening This is more serious than plaques, because you can get pain and breathlessness but not always. The pleura is a very thin lining between your lung and your rib cage. It can be damaged by inhaling asbestos dust. It can affect one lung or both lungs. It can get worse gradually or suddenly. There are risks of asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma. Asbestosis You need to have breathed in quite a lot of dust over at least several months or even a year or two to get asbestosis. Many people think asbestosis is cancer. It is not. There is a risk that you might get cancer in the future. Asbestosis tends to come on 20 years or more after your first contact with asbestos dust. Asbestosis is identified by x-ray, or a special scan called CAT (or CT) scan, by work history, clinical examination and lung function tests. Asbestosis is a form of fibrosis. Asbestos fibres become stuck in your lungs and cause inflammation and scarring, affecting the efficiency of your lungs. You may have breathlessness, cough, and other symptoms. Some people with asbestosis have no symptoms or very little disability. Others are seriously breathless, have a bad cough, and other symptoms. You may be more prone to develop infections since your lungs are weaker. Asbestosis often gets worse the longer you have it, but this does not always happen. It cannot be cured. For very mild asbestosis with little or no effect, Courts will now award about 15,000. For more advanced asbestosis, involving significant breathlessness, cough and other symptoms, Courts will award up to 75,000 for the disease itself. If you don t have any symptoms and the risk of getting worse is very small then you may not get any compensation. We will let you know the best way forward for you. Generally, we recommend settlement on a provisional basis since although you get less now, if you should develop another more serious asbestos condition or even if your condition worsens you can return to court to get further compensation. However, some clients prefer to get a once and for all offer and we respect that decision and will let the other side know to make an offer on that basis. If you lose your job or cannot work, or need care, you will be awarded more compensation. You have the choice of a once and for all award, or of keeping open your right to return to court for more compensation if you develop a more serious asbestos illness in the future - this is called a provisional damages order. Asbestos-related lung cancer Asbestos has been known to cause lung cancer since 1955 or earlier. People who have asbestosis and who also smoke cigarettes are many times more likely to get lung cancer than people who have asbestosis and are not smokers. If you get lung cancer caused by asbestos, a Court will award you between 45,000 and 60,000 for the illness itself. In addition, you will get compensation for loss 6 FREEPHONE

7 of earnings, and the value of care your family and friends give you, the cost of professional nursing care and any special aids/adaptations you need to buy. Experts think blue or brown asbestos are more dangerous than white asbestos. But all forms of asbestos are dangerous, and in practice you will probably not know what type you have breathed in. It usually takes 20 years from being exposed to asbestos before lung cancer develops. The DWP will accept that lung cancer is caused by asbestos if you have asbestosis or if you can show occupational exposure to asbestos over many years. The rules are complicated on this and it is worth seeking advice before completing the forms either from ourselves or from The Welfare Rights Service or Citizen Advice Bureaus. In a court action, it is difficult to prove that lung cancer is caused by asbestos dust if you do not already have asbestosis. Although difficult, it is not impossible, to get compensation for lung cancer, without asbestosis. But if you have inhaled a very large number of asbestos fibres after heavy exposure, most doctors now believe this can cause lung cancer without first causing asbestosis. It is worth seeking advice from specialist solicitors like ourselves. Claiming after death If you die, your estate and dependants will be able to carry on with the claim. Dependants can mean wife, partner, children if they relied on you for money or help. Partner means someone you lived with continuously for 2 years as a husband or wife or same sex partner up to the date of death. If you were dependent on someone who has already died of asbestos disease, you can get compensation. A dependant can recover their financial loss and their loss of services. Some dependants are awarded a fixed sum of 11,800, called bereavement damages. For those who died prior to , the figure is 10,000. If you are an executor named in the will of someone who died from asbestos disease, you can sue for compensation, if the person who died has not been compensated. The Estate will be compensated for the victim s pain and suffering, loss of earnings up to their death, the cost of nursing them, and the cost of the funeral and expenditure which the deceased incurred. If the person died without making a will then their next of kin, usually their wife, can sue for compensation. They will need to get a document called Letters of Administration to do this but we can help them get this document. A court action should be started within 3 years of the person s death, but judges will sometimes allow you to bring an action more than 3 years after the death. You should never assume it is too late, but get advice quickly. We have had a number of successful claims on behalf of widows who made their claims many years after their husbands deaths. They had good reasons as to why they didn t claim and the Judge considered that the disadvantage to them of not being able to claim far outweighed the difficulty to their husband s employers and awarded compensation. John Pickering and Partners LLP

8 speedy claims A specialist solicitor should be able to finish a case for someone with mesothelioma within 12 months and often in 6 months or even less. Usually we finish cases within 6 months of being instructed for those with mesothelioma. Judges are sympathetic to people with such serious illnesses, and will do everything possible to have the cases heard quickly. Your case is not likely to go to a full hearing, but the insurance company may not make offers until days before the case is due to be heard. We shall advise you as to whether offers are reasonable or not and we hope you accept our advice but it is a matter for you to decide. Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a form of cancer nearly always caused by asbestos. It is usually a tumour of the pleura, which is the lining between your lung and your rib cage, but it can sometimes affect your peritoneum, the lining between your bowel and the cavity of your abdomen. On rare occasions, it may affect other parts of the body. New drugs are being developed and tested in clinical trials. New surgery techniques are being used, combined with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, but this work is in its early stages. Specialist doctors or nurses can control pain successfully. They are called palliative care experts. Macmillan nurses are highly trained in the management of this illness. Mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose, as there are many other causes of pleural thickening and pleural effusions (fluid around the lung). These conditions can be caused by other cancers, or by infections or persistent inflammation. Usually, a biopsy, or more than one biopsy, has to be done in order to diagnose mesothelioma. Symptoms usually begin with breathlessness or with back or chest pain caused by a build up of fluid around the lung. This is called a pleural effusion. This fluid can be removed from the pleural space to relieve symptoms, and a type of surgery called pleurodesis is sometimes carried out to prevent fluid building up again in the pleural space. Patients can develop swelling and discomfort in the places where biopsies have been carried out, or surgery performed. Radiotherapy is used to treat these symptoms. A specialist solicitor should be able to get a case to court for someone with mesothelioma within 6 months, sometimes less. It is important that a solicitor takes a detailed statement from the person who has mesothelioma, preferably in the early stages of the illness. Only a specialist solicitor will be able to complete the case this quickly. You do not have to get asbestosis in order to get mesothelioma. Most people who develop mesothelioma do not have asbestosis. Mesothelioma has no connection with cigarette smoking. Practically all mesotheliomas are caused by asbestos exposure. It can be caused by short periods of exposure to asbestos. You might not even have worked with asbestos. People who lived near asbestos factories have developed mesothelioma. People have developed mesothelioma as a result of living with someone else who worked with asbestos and brought dust home on their clothes. 8 FREEPHONE

9 If someone dies of mesothelioma, or any other asbestos-related disease, the law says there must be an inquest, so the coroner must be told immediately, and there is likely to be a postmortem. If you have a relative who died of mesothelioma, and the doctor instructed by the Coroner says that asbestos found in the lungs did not cause the mesothelioma, or the mesothelioma was not caused by work, you should get a second opinion. A specialist solicitor will get one for you. Many types of work generated enough asbestos dust to cause mesothelioma. Garage workers, joiners, carpenters, electricians, building workers, dockers, plumbers, heating engineers, and others, are at risk. See the list of asbestos products starting on page 12. It is predicted that in the UK the number of people who will die each year from mesothelioma will rise to about 2,700, and will not begin to fall for another 20 years. It is rare for someone under 40 to get mesothelioma, because there is always a long delay between first exposure to asbestos and development of the illness. Some doctors think there must be a 20 year delay, but people have got this illness as early as 10 years or more than 60 years after breathing in asbestos. Knowledge of mesothelioma is more recent than knowledge of asbestosis. It was known since 1957 or 1958 by some asbestos manufacturers, but widely known in industry since the mid 1960s, that very small amounts of asbestos dust can cause mesothelioma. This means that if you get mesothelioma, or any other asbestos disease, because of contact with asbestos within the last 44 years, you can almost certainly get compensation through the courts if the company that exposed you, either at work, or to its asbestos products, still exists. Asbestos Street, Prieska, South Africa. Crocidolite (blue asbestos) was mined in this area and milled in the town. John Pickering and Partners John Pickering and Partners LLP

10 The difficulty you can face in getting compensation is that the firm or company who exposed you to asbestos may have gone out of business. Even if they have gone out of business, it is worth seeing a solicitor, because you should be able to get compensation under a special Government scheme. Or a solicitor may be able to bring the company back into existence and bring a court action against it, if the company had insurance. Typical awards for mesothelioma itself are now 50,000-80,000. Extra amounts are awarded for lost earnings, care, specialist equipment, medical expenses, and for lost income, which the victim would have had in the future, but for the illness. Compensation claims for mesothelioma are frequently worth 150,000 or more. Asbestos Compensation under threat Early 2001 The largest single employers liability insurer for asbestos risks said it could no longer afford to pay out claims. It looked as though many asbestos disease victims would not receive compensation. Spurred on by a campaign organized by many committed people, and in co-operation with the insurance industry, the government announced in May 2001 a new Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to pay compensation to asbestos victims who would have lost out. Autumn 2001 In October 2001 the largest British asbestos manufacturer (and employer) T&N Ltd (formerly Turner & Newall Limited) and its associated companies went into Administration and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the United States. This was a legal device designed to protect the company from asbestos disease compensation claims while it reorganizes its affairs. This has meant that hundreds of British asbestos disease victims have gone under compensated. T&N Ltd has set up a Trust for asbestos disease victims worldwide. Because there are so many of them and a limited amount of money available, they are receiving eventually only a fraction of what they would have been awarded if it had still been possible to bring legal action against the company. In 2002 The insurance industry challenged the entitlement of most mesothelioma victims to compensation in the Courts. They argued that because mesothelioma could in theory be caused by just one asbestos fibre, someone who had been exposed to asbestos on more than one occasion could never prove where he or she got the disease. We went to the highest appeal court, the Law Lords, on behalf of two of our clients, Edwin Matthews and Doreen Fox. The Law Lords decided in June 2002 that any exposure that increased the risk of someone getting mesothelioma should be said to have caused the disease. The entitlement of mesothelioma victims to be compensated was preserved. Our client Doreen Fox turned down substantial compensation, for the death of her husband Thomas Fox (pictured here), in June 2002 so that hundreds of other cases would not be halted. She eventually won her case in July 2002 and helped establish the principle that any employer which increases the risk that someone develops mesothelioma will be held responsible. 10 FREEPHONE

11 2006 The House of Lords in May 2006 ruled that those who had their exposure to asbestos dust from more than one source had to sue all of them to get full compensation. This was unfair and the Government overturned this decision at the end of July by bringing in an amendment to the Compensation Act to pursue compensation claims, because of problems identifying the firms responsible for the asbestos: the workers were often transferred between different shipowning and stevedoring companies daily or weekly, many of the companies are insolvent or have ceased to exist and their insurers cannot be traced or have themselves become insolvent The Court of Appeal upheld a High Court test case decision that the Government is liable to compensate former dock workers. The test case was brought on behalf of a 65 year old former docker, Robert Thompson of Scarisbrick, near Southport, and the widow of another docker, Winifred Rice, of Ormskirk, whose husband died in 2000, aged 67 years. Their solicitor was Neil Fisher of John Pickering and Partners LLP. Lawyers for the Department of Trade and Industry took the case to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to reverse the high court ruling. A successful appeal would have blocked the dockers compensation claims. The appeal decision will allow hundreds to be compensated by the government instead of them hunting in vain for liable dock employers that no longer exist. The National Dock Labour Board Until 1967, dock workers were employed on a casual basis under the National Dock Labour Board scheme, set up by the government in the late 1940s to organise labour arrangements at ports. Many dockers unloaded raw asbestos from ships, causing illness decades later. Until now, former dockers with asbestos illnesses have found it difficult or impossible These problems have resulted in former dockers dying from asbestos cancers without compensation to provide for the families that survive them. It is this that has given the impetus to the claims against the government, in its role as supervisor of labour at the docks and guardian of dockers health and safety. the latest battle In November 2008 the insurers challenged their practice of paying for mesothelioma claims from insurance in place at the time the person was exposed. Instead they argued it should be the insurer on risk at the time the person developed the disease. You may ask, why does this matter? This would mean many people not being compensated since many employers went out of business many years ago so no insurance is in place now. The High Court ruled, however that the old practice should remain. This is being appealed to the Court of Appeal who will be hearing the case in November It could go to the House of Lords afterwards. This firm has represented clients in all of these cases which demonstrates our commitment to taking on big issues on behalf of those with asbestos disease and their families. John Pickering and Partners LLP

12 How you can get asbestos disease Extracts from the Department of Environment Asbestos Materials in Buildings. The next four pages list many of the asbestos products known to cause disease. These products contained one or more of the three types of asbestos. These are blue asbestos (crocidolite); brown asbestos (amosite); and white asbestos (chrysotile). All three are dangerous. Asbestos Product Use Asbestos content Comments Sprayed asbestos coatings Thermal and acoustic insulation Fire and condensation protection Sprayed coatings contain up to 85% asbestos. Crocidolite (blue asbestos) was used for thermal insulation of steam turbines until Amosite (brown asbestos) was used for fire protection, structural steel condensation protection, acoustic control. Chrysotile (white asbestos), with mineral wool and binder, was used until Chrysotile was also used as a coating on top of other sprayed asbestos. Potential for fibre release unless sealed. Potential increases as the materials age or become friable and disintegrate. Dust released may then accumulate. Removal of sprayed coating is a licensed activity. Asbestos lagging Thermal insulation of pipes, boilers, pressure vessels, pre-formed pipe sections, slabs, tape,rope, corrugated paper, quilts, felts and blankets. All types of asbestos have been used. Content varies. Friability depends on the nature of the lagging. Potential for fibre release unless sealed. Potential increases as materials age or become friable and disintegrate. Dust releases may then accumulate. Removal is a licensed activity. Insulating boards Fire protection, thermal and acoustic insulation, resistance to moisture movement and general building board. Used in ducts, firebreaks, infill panels, partitions and ceilings (including ceiling tiles), roof underlays, wall lining, bath panels, external canopies and porch linings. Crocidolite (blue asbestos) used for some boards up to % amosite or a mixture of amosite (brown asbestos) and chrysotile (white asbestos). Likely to cause a dust hazard if very friable, broken, rubbed, sawn or drilled. 12 FREEPHONE

13 Asbestos Product Use Asbestos content Comments Insulation board cores and linings of composite products Acoustic attenuators, cladding, infill panels, domestic boiler casings, partition and ceiling panels, oven linings and suspended floor systems. Ropes and yarns Lagging, jointing and packing materials. Heat/ fire resisting gaskets and seals. Caulking in brickwork. Boiler and flue sealing. Plaited asbestos tubing in electric cable. All types of asbestos were used until Since then only chrysotile has been used. Asbestos content approximately 100%. Fibre may be released when large quantities of unbonded material are stored or handled. Cloth Thermal insulation and lagging including fire-resisting blankets, mattresses and protective curtains, gloves, aprons, overalls etc. All types of asbestos have been used in the past. Since the mid 1960s, mostly chrysotile has been used. Fibres may be released if material is rubbed. Millboard and paper General heat insulation and fire protection. Electrical/ heat insulation of electrical equipment and plant. Asbestos paper has been used in the manufacture of roofing felt and damp-proof courses, steel composite wall cladding and roofing, vinyl flooring, facing to combustible boards, flame resistant laminate and corrugated pipe insulation. Millboard was used in laboratories for thermal insulation. Crocidolite was used in some millboard manufactured between 1896 and 1965; subsequently chrysotile. Asbestos content approximately 100%. Uncoated asbestos paper and millboard is not highly bonded and should not be used where subject to abrasion or wear. John Pickering and Partners LLP

14 Asbestos Product Use Asbestos content Comments Asbestos cement Profiled sheets Semi - compressed flat sheet and partition board Roofing. Wall cladding and weather-boarding. Partitioning in farm buildings and housing, shuttering in industrial buildings, decorative panels for facings, bath panels, soffits, linings to walls and ceilings, portable buildings, propagation beds in horticulture, domestic structural uses, fire surrounds and composite panels for fire protection % asbestos. Crocidolite and amosite have been used in the manufacture of asbestoscement products, although chrysotile is the most common type. Likely to release fibres if rubbed, handsawn or worked on with power tools, cleaned with high powered hoses, deteriorated or decomposed. Fully compressed flat sheet and partition board Tiles and slates made from compressed flat sheet As previous product but where stronger materials are required. Cladding, decking and promenade tiles, roofing % asbestos. Crocidolite and amosite have been used in the manufacture of asbestoscement products, although chrysotile is the most common type. Likely to release fibres if rubbed, handsawn or worked on with power tools, cleaned with high powered hoses, deteriorated or decomposed. Preformed moulded products Cisterns and tanks, drains, sewer pipes and rainwater goods, flue pipes, fencing, roofing components, cable troughs and conduits, ventilators and ducts, window and flower boxes. Asbestos-bitumen products Bitumen roofing felt. Bitumen damp-proof course. Semi-rigid asbestos-bitumen roofing. Gutter linings and flashings. Asbestosbitumen coatings on metals. Chrysotile fibre or asbestos paper (approximately 100% asbestos) in bitumen. Fibre release is unlikely during normal use. Roofing felts, dpc and bitumen based sealants must not be burnt after removal. 14 FREEPHONE

15 Asbestos Product Use Asbestos content Comments Flooring Thermoplastic floor tiles. PVC vinyl floor tiles and unbacked PVC flooring. Asbestos paper backed PVC floors. Up to 25% asbestos. Normally less than 10% chrysotile. Paper backing approximately 100% chrysotile asbestos. Fibre release is unlikely to be a hazard under normal service conditions. Fibre may be released when material is cut and there may be substantial release when flooring, especially with paper backing, is removed. Textured coating Coatings on walls and ceilings. 3-5% chrysotile asbestos. Fibres can be released when dry mix materials are prepared or when old coating is rubbed down. The materials must not be power sanded. Remove by wet scraping if necessary. Mastics, sealants, putties and adhesives General % The main hazard is from sanding of hardened material. Sanding down with power tools should be avoided. Reinforced PVC and plastics Panels and cladding. Reinforcement for domestic goods. Variable. Wall plugging compound Wall fixings. Greater than 90% Made up from loose asbestos and cotton fibre with plastic dust. Hair dryers, fan and radiant electric heaters, irons, toasters, washing machines, tumble dryers, spin dryers, dish washers, refrigerators and freezers Paper element formers, brake pads, compressed fibre gaskets and seals, rubberised or other polymer gaskets and seals. Variable. Asbestos paper has been used as heat insulation in hair dryers. In general, gaskets and brake pads are sealed within appliances and are unlikely to release fibres into the atmosphere. Cookers Insulating board %. Fire cement, compressed fibre seals, rubberised or other polymer seals. Variable. Boilers, pipe work Asbestos plaster with or without surface fibre layer. Variable. The list is incomplete. There are other asbestos products and materials which cause disease. John Pickering and Partners LLP

16 Asbestos removal Philippe Gontier/Eurelios/Science Photo Library 16 FREEPHONE

17 John Pickering and Partners LLP Charitable Trust In 2008, we pledged that we would donate 10% of our net profit to charities and other good causes. We have made donations to various charities including asbestos support groups and mesothelioma research projects. We set up a Charitable Trust called John Pickering and Partners LLP Charitable Trust Registered number in 2009 into which we pay the residue of the net profit which we have not distributed during the year. We ll donate profits to good causes Ruth Davies, Partner at John Pickering and Partners LLP, made this comment about the firm s promise. John Pickering and Partners have always helped those organisations who help others. We are a small firm but we want to do our bit to allow underfunded good causes to continue their work. John Pickering and Partners LLP

18 Pneumoconiosis, etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 and The Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008 You may get a one off payment from the Government. This has nothing to do with a civil action against employers. There are two schemes but one form (PWC1). The 1979 Act Scheme is when your exposure was during employment whilst The Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008 is when it wasn t through work. You can get an application form known as a PWC1 from: PWC Team, JobCentre Plus, Barrow IIDB Centre Pittman Way PRESTON PR11 2AB FREEPHONE or we will send you an application form. The 1979 Act You can only get a payment under this scheme if the DWP accepts that you have one of the asbestos diseases listed below. So you have to apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB). If a relative has died, you can still apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, but should apply immediately after the death. You should not wait until the result of your claim for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit before claiming a payment under this scheme. The 1979 Act is designed to compensate you if you cannot get compensation from the employers who caused your disease, because they have gone out of business. You must claim within 12 months of the date the decision was made to award you IIDB. This scheme provides for payments to people who suffer, or the dependants of people who suffered from diffuse pleural thickening asbestosis lung cancer mesothelioma 2008 Scheme The 2008 Scheme was brought in to compensate those mesothelioma sufferers or their dependants who are ineligible to claim under the 1979 Act so long as exposure was in this country. You must claim under this scheme within 12 months of being diagnosed or date of death. Electron micrograph of fibres of amosite, or brown asbestos. Dr Jeremy Burgess/Science Photo Library Both Schemes If you go onto get any other compensation, The DWP will recover the money paid under these Schemes from the compensation. 18 FREEPHONE

19 Emptying bag of asbestos into hood. Crown copyright Saw used to slit bottom of bag to allow asbestos to fall into hopper. Crown copyright John Pickering and Partners LLP

20 Paying for the case You shouldn t worry about legal costs. We will try and protect you from paying any legal costs. Most cases we take on are successful, and most of our clients receive their compensation in full. Almost all of the time, we recover all of our charges and expenses from the other side and not from our clients. There are now two main ways of bringing a case: legal expenses insurance, or a conditional fee agreement. We will discuss all possible ways of funding a case with you. If you already have legal expenses insurance, we will find out whether it covers you for this case. If we think you have a good case, and you want us to do the case, we will ask your legal expenses insurers to agree that we do the case for you. If you don t have legal expenses insurance we can still do the case for you using a conditional fee agreement. The following explanation of conditional fee agreements in this compensation guide is in general terms. It is not part of the terms of our conditional fee agreements with our clients. Under a Conditional Fee Agreement, your solicitors do not charge you for the work if you lose or have to give up your case on legal advice. Your solicitor gets paid by the other side on your behalf if you win. This is the meaning of no win, no fee. Blue asbestos (crocidolite) found on the gravel verge of a main road between Prieska and Koegas, Northern Cape, South Africa. 20 FREEPHONE

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