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Legal expenses insurance can help you with a number of legal issues affecting your business.
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Mesothelioma is a rare, fatal type of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body's organs. Usually linked to asbestos exposure, it is responsbile for over 2500 deaths in the UK every year.
The claimant is this case was a retired shipyard worker who had been diagnosed with the disease having been exposed to asbestos while working on the construction and refitting of cruise liners in the 1980s.
In 2015 the claimant approached a firm of solicitors with a view to commencing legal action against his former employers. The firm determined that the case had a greater than 50% chance of success so it sought ATE Personal Injury insurance cover under its delegated authority arrangement with DAS UK.
In 2018 we were approached to provide a further ‘top-up’ of cover as the cost risk was approaching the value of the standard cover and additional indemnity was required to continue. Unfortunately, however, since the beginning of the case the claimant had passed away from his illness and the claim was being handled by his daughter.
After reviewing the case details, which included obtaining the solicitor’s ‘prospects of success’ assessment, an update on the available evidence, and the costs risk face by the claimant, we were able to increase the level of cover to allow the case to progress and ensure a favorable customer outcome.
Throughout 2018, the claimant’s former employer made offers on liability (the value of the ‘injury’ having already been agreed subject to liability). We supported the stance of the solicitor that the offer was too low and that the available evidence and the opinion of counsel meant a higher settlement could potentially be achieved.
The case progressed with our support following the exchange of witness evidence and engineering reports, despite the defendant making a Part 36 offer which amounted to a 50/50 split liability agreement.
Ultimately, the claimant’s daughter was able to agree an increased settlement of £141,000 following exchange of the joint statements. This was achieved without the need for a trial – a huge benefit to all parties. Perhaps most importantly, it gave her a huge sense of closure, as she was finally able to achieve justice for her father after his many years of painful ill health.
Throughout the proceedings, the solicitor was free to use their own experience and legal capabilities to fight the case. As an insurer we supported their decisions, and by offering additional cover it was clear to the defendants that their solicitors were working with a supportive insurer that was willing to help take the case to trial. It also undoubtedly strengthened the solicitors’ negotiating position.
Disclaimer: This customer testimonial is based on a real-life case. However, some aspects of the story have been changed in order to preserve client confidentiality.
Helping an employee claim for an injury at work