Field Fisher Waterhouse recovers compensation for wife of lagger

From: Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP
Published: Fri Jun 13 2008

Law firm, Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP has succeeded in recovering £130,000 in compensation for a lagger’s wife who died after developing mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer on the lining of the lungs.

Jacky Merritt’s husband, Don, worked as a lagger for the Cape Asbestos Company (Cape) in the 1960s. She developed mesothelioma as a result of washing her husband’s overalls. Washing the clothes exposed her to the asbestos dust that had accumulated on her husband’s overalls whilst he was at work.

Don decided to bring the case against Cape, which had allowed him to take his overalls home to be washed, and then instructed Peter Williams, a partner in the Asbestos Claims Group at Field Fisher Waterhouse.

Don comes from a family of laggers, a number of whom have also been affected by asbestos-related diseases. Peter has also acted and recovered damages for Don’s brother and brother-in-law, and is currently acting for another brother who has lung cancer.

Cape denied liability, arguing that in the 1960s it did not know that such small amounts of asbestos dust were dangerous. However, after an extensive review of the Field Fisher Waterhouse database of documents regarding Cape’s knowledge of mesothelioma in the 1960s, Peter was able to argue the company was liable and proceed to settle the claim.

The Merritt family, including Jacky’s grandchildren, were awarded £130,000 in compensation.

Peter Williams said: "Jacky was unknowingly exposed to asbestos whilst washing her husband’s overalls, which led to the development of mesothelioma nearly 40 years later. I am pleased we persuaded Cape to pay compensation to the Merritt family in this tragic case."

Don Merritt, who felt it was important that others knew the facts of this case so that it might help those in similar circumstances, said: "My family has been tragically affected and continue to suffer from the consequences of being poisoned by asbestos dust. I’m absolutely certain that most solicitors would have given up the fight for any compensation for me. Peter has been extremely sensitive and professional throughout the process."

Asbestos-related diseases affect thousands of people in the UK each year, with factory workers and labourers amongst those who are commonly affected. But Field Fisher Waterhouse has also acted on behalf of professionals such as doctors, nurses and teachers who have been exposed to asbestos through their work, as well as workers’ wives such as Jacky.

Last year, the Asbestos Claims Group at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP recovered over £10 million in compensation for victims of asbestos-related diseases in 102 successful cases. Over the years, the lawyers in the firm’s Asbestos Claims group have recovered a total of £116 million in over 1901 successful claims.


About Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP:
Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP is a full-service European law firm with offices in Brussels, Hamburg and London. With 119 partners, over 200 other lawyers and nearly 300 support staff, we assist a wide range of international clients, advising across a full range of legal issues.

The main areas of practice are corporate and commercial, IP and technology, banking and finance, regulatory and real estate. Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP also have particular expertise in competition & EU law, dispute resolution, employment, personal injury and clinical negligence, public sector and tax.

Case reference HQ07X03539

For further press information please contact:
Louise Eckersley
PR Manager
Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP
35 Vine Street
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7861 4120

Company: Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP
Contact Name: Louise Eckersley
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Contact Phone: +44 (0)20 7861 4120

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