Helen* was married to a medical professional who worked at two hospitals. Helen’s* husband died as a result of contracting Mesothelioma, a condition that can only be caused by exposure to asbestos. Aside from the loss of her husband, Helen* also lost her husband’s future income as a result of his premature death. The way in which Helen’s* husband came into contact with asbestos was initially unknown. It was thought that he may have been in contact with asbestos product when he built a garden shed at their property, but that was ruled out as a source of asbestos exposure after Maddens Lawyers engaged an expert examination of the products used to make the shed. Further enquires were made as to the existence of asbestos in a rental property owned by Helen and her late husband, but again that was ruled out after expert examination arranged by Maddens Lawyers. After further investigation by Maddens Lawyers, it was established that Helen’s* husband worked at two hospitals, which contained pipes wrapped with asbestos as well as asbestos building products. Maddens Lawyers issued proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against the two hospitals on behalf of Helen* making a claim in respect of her loss of income because of the premature death of her husband. The matter settled for a six figure sum after informal conferencing between Maddens Lawyers and the lawyers representing the two hospitals. The settlement was achieved despite substantial difficulties such as:
- obtaining corroborating evidence of exposure prior to Helen’s* husband’s death
- a complete lack of tax returns and other financial records
- the long period of time from Helen’s* husband death until Helen* consulted Maddens Lawyers.
*Names have been changed to protect identity.