Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the lining of the abdomen, which is known as the peritoneum. It is caused by ingesting asbestos fibres. Over time, irritation from the asbestos fibres can cause scarring and inflammation which can lead to a mesothelioma tumour growth on the affected site. This sadly occurred to Peter* who was enjoying his retirement after a successful 30 year career in the police. He joined as a young cadet and once he qualified as a police officer a few years later, he rose through the ranks to become a superintendent. Sadly, 20 years into his retirement and now a full time carer to his wife who suffers from severe arthritis which affects her mobility, he began to suffer with a distended stomach and swollen ankles.
Peter went to his doctor where he was told he’d developed malignant peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during his police career. It later came to light that Peter had been exposed to asbestos whilst retrieving boxes of files stored in basements near to boiler rooms of the various police stations where he worked and also whilst supervising riot training undertaken twice a year at former MOD buildings.
As Peter’s condition worsened with loss of appetite and weight, reduced exercise tolerance, side-effects from prolonged treatment, and the mental stress of his fatal condition, he became increasingly more worried about caring for his wife and how he could possibly continue to do so when he too had a debilitating medical condition.
Peter contacted one of our panel lawyers, Edmund Young who established on his behalf that the MOD buildings where the riot training was carried out more than likely contained asbestos material and as a result of flash bangs grenades being released and riot simulation, there would have been significant disturbance and subsequent exposure to asbestos dust and particles. This was initially disputed by the defence lawyers and court proceedings were commenced at the High Court to determine this issue.
Following evidence being given by Peter at an interim hearing, liability was conceded and a six-figure settlement for Peter and his wife was negotiated with an indemnity obtained in respect of the cost of future treatment including immunotherapy. The settlement package allowed Peter to get the expert private medical treatment he needs to manage his pain for the rest of his life as well as care support for his wife so that she can continue to be looked after. Peter was very pleased with the outcome and extremely grateful to have received early expert legal advice, support and empathy throughout his case.
*His name has been changed for the purpose of anonymity*