Let’s take some time to reflect on the highlights 2019 has had…

What a year it has been! We can’t believe just how fast the year has flown by here at HASAG Asbestos Disease Support. Before anything else, we would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has continued to support us this year and new supporters we have gained along the way. This year, we decided to invite our panel solicitors to share their highlights from the year.

This has been another challenging but rewarding year during which time we have achieved great results for our clients and their relatives. Sadly, the number of cases involving asbestos related victims remains unabated, although advancement in respiratory medicine and research means that we can now in appropriate cases recover substantial compensation to include the cost of immunotherapy and private treatments, offering some hope of extending life. There has also been some success in departing from a previous Court of Appeal decision restricting recovery of compensation where there has been low levels of exposure. This means that even in those cases the chances of success has been much improved. We have also enjoyed helping to raise significant funds for victims of asbestos illnesses throughout the year which has culminated in a fire walking event for our friends at HASAG, who have raised in total £500k for research and funding projects. A great achievement!! – Slater and Gordon

A highlight for Novum Law in 2019 was to recover in excess of £35,000 for a hospice on behalf of one of our clients who sadly died from mesothelioma.
The recovery of the hospice care costs was made possible due to a landmark ruling in 2010 which allows them to recover part of the costs of caring for an individual which are funded through charitable donations. The widow of our client commented ‘I will be forever grateful to the hospice for the fantastic level of care, support and compassion provided during my husband’s final days. It gives me great comfort to know that we have been able to give something back to the hospice so that the wonderful team there can continue to provide care to other families who find themselves in a similar situation facing the loss of a loved one.’
What many people do not realise is that hospices only receive a small percentage of their funding from the public sector. While hospice care is ‘free’ at the point of delivery, hospices often have to rely on charitable donations and fundraising activities organised by staff and volunteers to make up the shortfalls.
We were delighted to have recovered such a substantial amount of money for the hospice to allow them to continue to provide first-class care and support for patients nearing the end of their lives and their families

I have a number of interesting matters that we settled or started this year, however the one below is a highlight due to the immediate and massive difference the compensation made to the deceased’s family finances, so here goes:
The highlight of the year has to be settling a case for the family of a HASAG patient who had not been able to recall any asbestos dust exposure during his employment, save for a short period of time connecting wiring for a cable television company We found through research that asbestos board was used in the switch rooms; despite the case being turned down by Counsel, it was successfully concluded at a full valuation giving the family considerable financial security for the future. -Larcomes

The regular HASAG fundraiser is one of the highlights for the Fieldfisher Team and before we knew it, we were hot footing to the Firewalk fundraiser. The most important date in the calendar though is always Action Mesothelioma Day at the Inn Lodge. Lovely weather this year and a packed venue really showed everyone what HASAG is all about – the community of mesothelioma patients together with their families and the friends and professionals who support them.

It is always difficult to pick just a few cases to highlight over the year, as there have been so many genuinely rewarding moments, where we have had the opportunity to make a difference in a patient’s life, even if just in a small way. However, we have picked out a few cases to mention briefly. Please note that the clients wish to remain anonymous and so their names have not been used.
The following are Immunotherapy cases.
Mr X was in his mid-50s and married with two teenage children, when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He obtained access to immunotherapy, which was funded through the legal claim we brought on his behalf. The claim was settled in the sum of £800,000 plus all future immunotherapy treatment costs. The case was unique in that it was the first case in which future damages for medical treatment of mesothelioma were dealt with under the Damages (Variation of Periodical Payments) Order 2005.
Mr Y developed mesothelioma, and responsibility for causing his illness was initially denied. After a contested court hearing, the judge considered that the defendant was responsible for exposing Mr Y to asbestos. We negotiated an agreement whereby a legal trust was set up to manage all ongoing payments for private immunotherapy treatment, which paid Mr Y’s medical expenses of £40,000 per quarter through an innovative “float” arrangement, which was organised together with the Irwin Mitchell trusts team. – Irwin Mitchell

Team HASAG’s highlight of the year is the incredible fundraisers we have seen as well as held ourselves! AMD was a huge success, with our biggest turnout yet having over 200 people attending. The butterflies looked beautiful and were a real crowd-pleaser. Later in the year, we held a Fire Walk event, with over 100 people coming along and walking through fire to raise money for HASAG, we couldn’t ask for better supporters. There have also been amazing fundraisers from our dedicated supporters including running and cycling challenges, walks from city to city, marathons, music bingo, shaving heads, car rallies, tabletop sales, parties and so much more!
We are already being inundated with ideas for 2020 fundraisers, it looks like it is going to be another great year. See you all there! #Bringon2020