Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice Leeds: Irwin Mitchell recover £9,000 in funding after death of 90-year-old
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In 2021, Donald Hamilton was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos. He approached specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he came to develop the disease.
It was his time as a joiner in Bradford that exposed him to asbestos. Donald and his team would box-in exposed pipes and cabling using asbestos sheet. The cutting of the asbestos sheets produced significant amounts of dust and fibres in the air, which Donald would breathe in.
But Irwin Mitchell continued to investigate and a settlement was reached. The law firm also recovered £9,867 for the hospice which cared for Donald in his final days.
Oliver Collett, the asbestos-related disease expert at Irwin Mitchell who supported Donald and his family, said: “It was a pleasure to know Donald and while he died before he could see his case concluded, the result would have meant a lot to him.
“Donald’s death is another reminder of the terrible legacy of asbestos and should serve as a reminder that this substance is still very much with us. Employers still have a duty to protect their employees.
“Donald’s wife Pauline passed away in 2021 so the last few years have been a difficult time for the whole family. Nothing can compensate for what they have all been through, but it means a lot to the family to see the care costs for Wheatfields recovered.
“Hospices like Wheatfields provide vital support to families and patients when they need it most and hopefully the costs in this case will help the hospice support other patients in need in the future.”
Donald’s son Peter Hamilton, 61, said: “Dad was concerned about what his mesothelioma diagnosis might mean for mum and how care might be paid for, so we know it would mean a lot to him that the hospice costs have been recovered.
“The staff at the hospice were amazing and it means so much to us that they haven’t been left out of pocket for the support they gave to dad and our family in those final days. We wouldn’t have got through it without their help and we can’t thank them enough for their kindness and empathy.”
Donald’s youngest son Martin Hamilton, 53, added: “This now ends such a difficult chapter in our lives and it’s some comfort to know that dad’s determination to discover the truth about his asbestos exposure will help other families using the hospice in the future.
“Everyone thinks asbestos is a thing of the past but it’s not. As Dad’s death shows it’s still a real danger.”