Mesothelioma Payout Finally Delivered

MANCHESTER, U.K. – A mesothelioma settlement won four years ago by a woman from Ashton under Lyne has finally been paid out. Dorothy Hughes, who lost her husband Frederick to the asbestos cancer mesothelioma in 2001, had originally settled a suit against his former employer, the Vernon & Roberts engineering firm of Stalybridge, in 2005. Mr. Hughes was exposed to asbestos while working for the firm in the 1960s. Vernon & Roberts specialized in the dismantling of buildings, exposing workers to all kinds of harmful chemicals used in building materials, including asbestos. Mrs. Hughes says Mr. Hughes tried to hide the dangers from his family, but that she was horrified when she learned the health hazards posed by the deadly substance, which was used throughout the twentieth century in building materials, insulators, and household goods. A settlement for £60,000 was reached in 2005, but the company refused to pay. The Federated Insurance Company, which covered Vernon & Roberts’s employer liability, went bankrupt. Vernon & Roberts then tried to file a claim with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, a government program set up to support consumers affected by failing financial firms, like insurers. However, b4ecause the original claim was filed before the FSCS was set up; it was not covered under the Scheme. Dorothy Hughes then hired Pauline Chandler to file a suit against the directors of Vernon & Roberts. Because the company’s assets had been divided among these directors when the company wound up in 2003, they were forced to pay out of their own pockets. Mrs. Chandler explained the process: “In this case, there were assets of £250,000 when the claim was made and instead of sharing them out between themselves when the company finally folded, the directors should have paid out Mrs Hughes’ compensation claim.” After four years of fighting, they finally have.