Hospice Care Costs – Appeal Dropped
An appeal against a landmark court ruling which required a company to pay the hospice care costs of a former employer, who contracted mesothelioma and died there in 2007, has been dropped. James Wilson worked for Foster Wheeler Limited in the early 1950’s as a boiler erector at Dartford power station in south east London. Judge Anthony Thornton QC, sitting at the High Court in London last year said: “Throughout the time that he was working there, he was neither warned by his employer of the dangers of this exposure nor was he provided with respiratory protection.” Mr Wilson developed mesothelioma, a terminal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust and died in St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney in March 2007, aged 76. A claim was brought by his daughters, Catherine Drake and Tina Starkey, which included the costs of his care at the hospice.
Evidence was provided to the court to show that a bed at St Joseph’s cost £900 a day. Mr Wilson received 23 nights hospice care in the days leading up to his death. St Joseph’s hospice provides specialist palliative care for people who are terminally ill and for whom no curative treatment is possible. Subject to the availability of beds, no patient within the catchment area of the hospice would be turned away and no patient was charged for any service. Whilst families of some patients made donations to the hospice there was no obligation for them to do so. Mr Wilson’s family wished to repay the hospice for the care provided but could not afford to do so. They claimed just over £10,000 on the basis the care provided by the hospice was similar to care provided gratuitously by friends and family.
The Court allowed 62% of the cost of the care which was the percentage of the hospice’s running costs for 2007, not funded from the donations made to it by the National Health Service. The judge ordered that the money should be paid directly to St Josephs’.
Royal & Sun Alliance, Mr Wilson’s former employers insurance company, started proceedings to appeal against the ruling but have announced that they do not intend to proceed, days before the appeal was due to be heard.
Given the limited funding provided to hospices and the invaluable service that they provide to many mesothelioma victims this is a welcome decision. At John Pickering and Partners LLP we include a claim for the value of hospice care in our mesothelioma cases. We recognise the valuable work of under funded hospices and given that the numbers of mesothelioma cases are set to rise until at least 2015 we are pleased that this decision should result in additional funds to support the work of hospices across the country.
John Pickering and Partners LLP
19 Castle Street,
Liverpool L2 4SX
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of certain bodily organs. It most commonly affects the lining of the lungs (the pleura) but it can affect other areas including organs in the abdominal cavity (the peritoneum).
John Pickering and Partners LLP- Specialist mesothelioma compensation solicitors
We are a specialist personal injury law firm. We have been handling claims for industrial disease for over 30 years. Most of our work involves acting for asbestos disease victims.
We only act for the sufferers of asbestos diseases and never act for the organisations that caused the asbestos exposure or their insurers. We have an ethical approach and pledge to donate 10% of our net profits every year to good causes that help asbestos sufferers. Click here to find out about our donations to good causes. We have also been involved in most of the landmark judgments that shape this area of law. Find out more about us or find out about our reported cases.
We are on the panels of several asbestos support groups and are ranked highly by legal guides. Click here to find out more about what others have said about us.
John Pickering and Partners LLP is a niche legal practice that has represented Claimants in the leading asbestos "test cases" in the last ten years. The firm represented Sylvia Barker in Barker v Corus (UK) Plc, a case that highlighted the legal tactics of employers and insurers trying to cut back their compensation liabilities to mesothelioma sufferers, and which prompted the amendment of the Compensation Act 2006 to ensure full compensation for mesothelioma claims. The firm represented two of the three Claimants in the Fairchild appeal, in which the insurance industry tried unsuccessfully to block compensation altogether for mesothelioma sufferers unable to identify which of two or more sources of asbestos exposure had caused their illness.
The firm represented Alice Jefferson, a mesothelioma sufferer, whose illness and compensation claim against Cape Asbestos were featured in the important documentary "Alice: A Fight For Life." Shown by Yorkshire Television in July 1982, the programme was an important catalyst for legal change and public awareness of the plight of asbestos disease sufferers and a prompt for important reform.
If you need advice about an asbestos related illness, contact us now for information about making a claim for compensation.