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Mesothelioma is a virulent cancer that affects the membrane lining the lungs, the abdominal cavity or the heart. It is caused by breathing in asbestos fibres and may take up to 50 years for the symptoms to become obvious. Most victims were exposed during employment as a result of "at risk" occupations however other people were exposed secondarily through family members who inadvertently brought asbestos fibres home on their work clothes or on their hair or skin. Although the use of asbestos has now been banned throughout much of the world it is estimated that it will cause the deaths of 250,000 workers resulting in tens of thousand of solicitors mesothelioma compensation claims.

The symptoms of mesolthelioma include shortness of breath, coughing, chest wall pain, anaemia, fatigue and weight loss. The condition is diagnosed by X-ray or CT scan and can be confirmed by use of a biopsy and medical examination including thorascopy by insertion of a miniature camera into the lungs. Treatment is by chemotherapy, radiation or surgery however in all cases the prognosis is poor.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops following inhalation of asbestos particles. The malignant cells are located in the mesothelium, which is a layer of tissue that lines the internal organs of the body. This asbestos related disease is commonly found in the lining of the lungs, the chest, the abdomen and the heart. If you have worked with asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is likely that you have suffered occupational exposure. If your employer has failed to adequately protect you from the harmful effects of asbestos and you have contracted mesothelioma then you have the legal right to a damages award. Contact our mesothelioma compensation solicitors today and see how we can help you exercise your legal rights.

Our personal injury solicitors offer advice at no cost and will advise you whether or not you have a valid claim for asbestos related disease. Our mesothelioma claim solicitors will be happy to discuss your matter at length and will arrange a home visit if you believe that is more appropriate. We will answer all of your questions on asbestosis or mesothelioma claims in plain English and will never use legal jargon. We operate using the no win no fee** scheme. If after speaking with one of our mesothelioma claim solicitors you decide to proceed no further you will not be charged for our time which is given without further obligation.

Employers Negligence

Newly diagnosed cases of mesothelioma are almost always the result of negligence and in most cases legal action for compensation will be successful. Mesothelioma claim solicitors investigate each case individually to establish and prove when and how the patient was exposed to asbestos. In cases where the victim is aware of how they came to be exposed to asbestos, a mesothelioma solicitor can often take action without delay however other more complicated cases can take a substantial period of time to fully investigate prior to the issue of legal proceedings which must in any event take place within three years of the condition being diagnosed.

Investigation of these matters especially in regards to the chronology of employment to establish which firms are responsible is a difficult task especially as most of these firms ceased trading or went bankrupt long ago. In these circumstances it is important to have the help of an experienced mesothelioma solicitor. Our mesothelioma compensation solicitors have comprehensive knowledge of the historical use of asbestos and a thorough understanding of the law relating to compensation for asbestos related diseases.

Mesothelioma Class Action

In an historic 1995 case a High Court Judge ruled that there was a direct causal link between environmental asbestos exposure and illness suffered by people who lived in the vicinity of a Leeds asbestos textile factory. The claimants in the case suffered from mesothelioma which was caused by exposure fifty years previously when, as children, they played within the vicinity of the factory. Evidence was heard that fibres were released into the atmosphere from ventilation fans, open windows and doors and that employees left the factory covered in dust thereby causing extensive contamination of the residential area around the factory. The Judge found that the Defendants owed the local residents a duty of care and that reasonably practicable steps were not taken to reduce emissions of asbestos dust which had been a recognised health hazard since 1933.

Due to the large number of people that may become infected by environmental asbestos contamination, in the event of the proposed defendant denying liability for negligence and refusing to pay compensation for injury to health, legal action can be pursued on behalf of all sufferers. Where there have been a number of people affected at about the same time, by the same event or incident, suffering the same or similar injuries it may be possible to pool resources and take legal action together. This type of litigation which is called a class action, multi party action or group litigation is effectively a procedural arrangement that allows multiple asbestos compensation claims to be litigated by personal injury solicitors efficiently and resolved with finality whilst ensuring that the legal costs do not become prohibitive. It is often the only sensible method of getting these actions to trial due to the relative financial weakness of individuals taking on a large business corporation with almost unlimited assets with which to defend a claim.

Mesothelioma Risk

Asbestos fibres are extremely small, can only be seen under a microscope and can be easily inhaled or swallowed. Contact with even small amounts of certain types of asbestos can result in the development of mesothelioma which is an aggressive form of asbestos related cancer. Exposure is usually the result of negligence by a former employer which can result in a successful mesothelioma compensation claim. Over 3,000 people die in the UK every year from asbestos related diseases and it is estimated that over 250,000 people will have died in the European Union as a result of exposure to asbestos most of whom will succumb to cancer. Those most at risk include :-

  • laggers
  • merchant navy seamen
  • refractory bricklayers
  • turbine/boiler operators in power stations
  • dockers
  • lab technicians
  • asbestos factory employees
  • building site and construction workers
  • aerospace workers
  • insulation engineers
  • boilermen
  • insulators
  • boilermakers
  • shipbuilders
  • steel workers
  • maintenance workers
  • pipe fitters
  • brake mechanics
  • demolition workers

Asbestos Cancer

Asbestos has been in use for centuries however its proliferation started after the Second World War in 1945 before being totally banned in the European Union in 1999. A link between asbestos and lung disease has been postulated since the beginning of the eighteenth century however a direct connection between asbestos fibres and mesothelioma was only proven by research in 1960. Any exposure to asbestos can be harmful and may cause this condition to develop, but the risk is greater if you are exposed to large amounts for a prolonged period of time especially from a young age. The time between exposure and development of the illness can be as long as 50 years however that is no bar to legal action for a mesothelioma compensation claim which must be either settled or legal proceedings must have been started in a court of law within three years of the symptoms becoming obvious, failing which the opportunity to start a mesothelioma compensation claim may have been lost forever.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Diagnosis begins with a basic physical examination by a GP. The patient may then be referred to a hospital for X-rays, CT scan, MRI scan or biopsy carried out by a specialist. This condition is more common in men than women and the risk increases with age. Smoking or a history of smoking, also significantly increases the chance of developing this cancer. Because there are legal time limits (limitation), once diagnosed a victim should urgently seek advice from a mesothelioma solicitor. The claim must have been settled or legal proceedings must have been issued in a court of law within three years of the diagnosis failing which the opportunity to claim compensation may have been lost forever.

Asbestos cancer is difficult to diagnose and there are few mesothelioma symptoms in the early stages of the disease which may be several decades after initial exposure. Asbestos cancer targets cells in the lining of internal organs including the heart, the lungs and the abdomen. The following mesothelioma symptoms are not exclusive and may be associated with other less serious health problems, however if you are suffering from mesothelioma symptoms you are well advised to contact your doctor particularly if you have been exposed to asbestos at any time in your life either directly or indirectly :-

Mesothelioma Symptoms

    Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms

    • lower back pain
    • pain the chest
    • shortness of breath
    • persistent coughing
    • fevers and sweating
    • weight loss
    • husky or hoarse voice
    • painful or difficult swallowing

    Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms

    • swelling of the abdomen
    • pain in the abdomen
    • lack of appetite
    • weight loss
    • feeling of nausea
    • vomiting
    • constipation or diarrhoea

Mesothelioma Treatment


    Extrapleural pneumonectomy is a form of aggressive surgery that removes as much of the pleural mesothelioma tumour as possible. This complicated surgical method of mesothelioma treatment involves removal of the pleura, the lung, the diaphragm and the pericardium. Due to the high risk nature of this surgery it is not a suitable treatment for all patients. Physicians will assess the victims ability to tolerate the procedure and usually only younger patients with good general health and Stage I disease are treated this way.


    Chemotherapy treats cancer with chemicals, drugs and medication with the intention of killing cancer cells and is also sometimes combined with surgery. The drugs that are used in this form of mesothelioma treatment have mixed results and the end result is not successful for all patients.


    Radiation therapy is also used as a primary mesothelioma treatment to kill malignant cancer cells and may be used in combination with surgery or used as a palliative procedure. It may cause reduction of the disease but has not been proven to significantly improve chances of survival although it can relieve symptoms. Radiation therapy may have significant side effects.

    Palliative Treatment

    Palliative procedures are surgical procedures carried out on patients with advanced mesothelioma to help relieve the symptoms. These procedures cannot cure the disease but can reduce or control symptoms such as breathlessness and pain.

Mesothelioma Compensation Claim Awards

If you or someone you know has developed an asbestos related disease and wants to make a compensation claim our mesothelioma claim solicitors offer qualified legal advice at no cost. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made by the solicitor to the client. Damages awarded in a lung cancer, asbestosis or mesothelioma compensation claim are divided into three main categories as follows:-

    Special Damages

    This item represents compensation that can be calculated with a degree of mathematical accuracy whereby assessment by lawyers or a judge is not necessary. Items of special damages in asbestosis or mesothelioma claims are usually proved by way of documentary evidence such as invoices, estimates or receipts. The main item of general damages is usually loss of wages including past losses and future losses together with the cost of care and other general expenses.

    General Damages

    This item represents compensation for items of loss that cannot be calculated and require a degree of assessment. The main item of general damages is usually the value of the award for the pain and suffering together with a sum for loss of amenity or lifestyle. There are many other smaller items that qualify under this category.


    This item can be claimed on both general damages and special damages. The calculations are complex and different parameters including different interest rates apply to different types of compensation. Due to the interest factor it is not worth the while of insurers to delay settlement of a lung cancer, asbestosis or mesothelioma compensation claim.

DWP Benefits

If you suffer from an asbestos related disease then you may be entitled to Department of Work and Pensions benefits and to a compensation payment under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979. This scheme is for those who cannot bring a mesothelioma claim in the civil courts.

Time Limits

The time limit for taking legal action for asbestos related disease compensation claims under the Limitation Act 1980 must take account of the considerable latency period between exposure and the appearance of symptoms, the effect of which is that the normal three year period during which a claim must be settled or legal proceedings must be issued in a court of law does not start to run until a positive diagnosis has been made or should have been made had the victim acted with reasonable diligence. In most cases it is incumbent on the sufferer to make enquiries into their condition as soon as possible after the appearance of symptoms and to thereafter take legal advice and issue legal proceedings to preserve the legal right to receive compensation once a positive diagnosis has been confirmed.

Mesothelioma Compensation Solicitors

Our mesothelioma compensation solicitors have extensive experience of mesothelioma claims using the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. Our claim service is completely risk free. For free advice just use the helpline or complete the contact form and a member of the Law Society panel of personal injury experts will telephone you with no obligation.



*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here