Widow wins over £163,000 in compensation after the loss of her husband to asbestos related cancer – Could it have been prevented?
After a long struggle with mesothelioma, Colin Wolstenholme died aged 70 from the incurable cancer of the lining of the lungs, often associated with asbestos.
From the DIY man of the house, Colin was described as an active man becoming dependent on his loving family, to someone racked by pain and acute breathlessness died in April 2014.
His widow, Lorraine, sued after his death, seeking damages from Mr Wolstenholme’s onetime employers, Manchester flooring specialists Leach’s of Shudehill Ltd.
Colin worked for Leach’s for “a number of years – during the course of which he was exposed to asbestos dust”, said the judge.
Judge Martin McKenna awarded Mrs Wolstenholme £90,000 for the dreadful “pain and suffering” her husband endured before his death.
She will also receive £25,000 for care and assistance she gave him and £30,000 for “loss of non-financial dependency” on him as a devoted husband.
This relates to the fact that Mr Wolstenholme used to drive his wife around by car, while she also relied on him for house maintenance and DIY.
The judge’s awards totalled over £163,000, however the final amount of the widow’s compensation will be much higher than that.
Substantial sums have yet to be calculated for his lost earnings and her financial dependency.
The company admitted liability for his death but disputed the amount of compensation due to his widow.
Its lawyers claimed Mr Wolstenholme’s life expectancy would have been curtailed in any event by factors such as smoking and high cholesterol.
But Judge McKenna said evidence suggested he had given up smoking some time ago, while cholesterol was not a danger factor.
He was a generally fit man before he became ill, the court heard, and would probably have had another 16 years of life but for the cancer which killed him.
Financial sums will never compensate for the loss of a loved one. This story is all too familiar.
Almost 2,500 people in the UK die each year from Mesothelioma.
Could this loss have been prevented if the company had taken appropriate action? We will never know, but appropriate controls, protection and training may have made the difference.
You are responsible for yours and your employee’s future, call us today for advice about how to protect your workforce so that this story isn’t repeated over the coming years. Learn more with R B Asbestos Consultants.
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