A ruling today in the Supreme Court has upheld a decision to compensate two victims of mesothelioma, an incurable lung cancer, who had been exposed to small amounts of asbestos dust.

Both the victims Mrs Willmore and Mrs Costello had sadly passed away before the final hearing of the appeal against their award brought by the defendants.  Mrs Willmore had been exposed to asbestos whilst a pupil at a school in Merseyside and Mrs Costello whilst working in a steel factory as an office worker.

The defendants involved had accepted they had been negligent in allowing both victims to be exposed to asbestos, however they attempted to argue that before a person could be compensated there had to be a doubling of the risk of the exposed person developing the cancer, so low-level exposure would not greatly increase the risk of contracting mesothelioma as in most people there is an extremely small background level of asbestos exposure.

All seven Law Lords held that the law, which has stood for many years, should remain and all a victim had to prove was that the exposure to asbestos had materially contributed to the risk of contracting this awful and fatal disease.

This is an important case for anyone who may have been exposed to small doses of asbestos and go on to contract meseothelioma.  It is also very important for people who may have been exposed to asbestos in schools or other public buildings even though they did not directly handle the asbestos.  In Mrs Willmore’s case she recalled workmen removing and replacing ceiling tiles.  She also remembered school friends moving the tiles and hiding personal items into the voids of suspended ceilings as a prank.

This is another example of the defendants and insurance companies attempts to evade meeting their responsibilities and compensating those victims who have contracted this incurable disease.

If this story affects you or you are concerned about previous exposure to asbestos please do not hesitate to contact Steven Evans on Freephone 0800 294 3065 or email steven.evans@wesolicitors.com