Coulsdon man’s £390,000 compensation for asbestos exposure

A Coulsdon man has been awarded £390,000 in compensation after contracting mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in the workplace.

In addition to the compensation, Garry Musgrove has received, any necessary private medical treatment that he needs in the future will be paid for by the insurers of his former employers.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs. It’s usually linked to asbestos exposure.

Musgrove, 63, first suffered symptoms of mesothelioma in June 2019. He was forced to leave his Civil Service job due to the mesothelioma symptoms. Now, almost 50 years after he was first exposed to asbestos, Musgrove successfully claimed against three former employers.

From 1974 to 1977, Musgrove worked for Wisby Group Services Ltd as an apprentice carpenter and joiner. It is known now that he was regularly exposed to asbestos fibres when working in hospitals, pubs, shop units and building sites.

From 1980 to 1982 he worked for Wood Hall Building Group Ltd, where he was exposed to asbestos when stripping out partitions in a large office block in Victoria.

From 1982 to 1984 he worked for V.A.T. Watkins (City) Ltd, then known as H Fairweather & Co (City) Ltd. He recalls spending three to four weeks constructing a walkway on a construction site using old asbestos sheeting in a basement with no ventilation.

Garry Musgrove: was never offered protective equipment when working with asbestos

No masks or protective equipment were ever provided by Musgrove’s employers. Decades after the asbestos exposure and despite the fact that the companies had ceased trading, the insurers of all three employers admitted negligent exposure and settled the claim.

The compensation covers various items including allowing Garry to recover lost earnings since his illness forced him to give up work, as well as helping to fund further specialist treatment that may be required.

“When I first received the diagnosis it was an incredibly difficult time,” Musgrove said.

“I was no longer able to work, and I didn’t know what help was available to me. I knew I had been exposed to asbestos through multiple jobs, but you never think something like this will happen to you, particularly so many years later.

“These companies knew about the dangers of asbestos when I worked for them and yet we were allowed to work without any masks or protection – I feel so let down that I have this condition caused by my former employers.

“When I started to explore legal action, I didn’t even know if I could get compensation, as the work I did was so many years ago, and the companies I had worked for didn’t even exist anymore. However, I am glad I did look into it and I would encourage anyone who has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease to seek legal advice from specialists such as my solicitors, Hodge Jones and Allen.

“The HJA team have been invaluable in my fight for justice, ensuring that my future healthcare is funded and that I am compensated for what I am going through. It’s so important to have specialist lawyers who know what they are doing because they have years of proven experience behind them in dealing with mesothelioma claims.”

Lorna Webster, a partner at HJA who represented Musgrove, said, “Garry’s case also proves that there can be accountability, no matter how much time has passed. People who have been failed by past employers don’t deserve to be left out of pocket from lost earnings or medical bills – they deserve full compensation, justice and the best legal support possible.

“We encourage anyone displaying mesothelioma symptoms to speak to their GP, and anyone who has received a diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness to seek legal guidance without delay.”

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