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Wheels of Justice Still Turning for Asbestos Victims in Lockdown

View profile for Charlotte Perkins
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A personal reflection from Charlotte Perkins, Asbestos Claims Solicitor.

Last week I represented a client at a show cause hearing (a sort of mini trial), where the court entered judgment against the defendants in favour of my client. This essentially means that the court accepted that my client was exposed to asbestos, as a result of the negligence of his former employers.  They were at fault and as a result my client has mesothelioma.

At the same hearing the court ordered directions for the parties, including directions for an interim payment of damages of £50,000. We will now go on to evidence the value of the remainder of the claim.

This interim payment is extremely important, it will allow my client to start private immunotherapy treatment. We have been advised by the treating oncologist, that this may be able to begin shortly after the Covid-19 peak.

Immunotherapy is a potentially life prolonging treatment for my client but it isn’t available to him funded by the NHS. Obtaining this payment, therefore, is the only route for him to be able to access this treatment. Thankfully, following the order, immunotherapy is now a reality for my client.

It is with a great sigh of relief that the wheels of justice have continued to turn for my client today and other asbestos victims. The courts have continued to treat these cases as priorities, even in these strange times. I have still managed to get orders through within a day or two of making applications, had responses from judges on the same day as contacting them on other matters and continue to receive hearing dates.

Some of us are lucky enough to be able to stay home trying to protect ourselves from a sometimes deadly disease, those who have already had their diagnosis of mesothelioma should not have to wait for the pandemic to be over. Justice, certainly should not wait either.

Litigating cases from home presents significant challenges and has required entirely new systems of working. The court order and preparations for the hearing certainly required some serious thought.

The first hurdle, something which should be simple. I was ordered to find “a private quiet area” for the hearing - somewhere where I could not be overheard and there would be no background noise. Easier said than done when in lockdown with a family that includes a three year old and a puppy!

However, all the challenges in our cases are welcome, because finding ways to overcome them, means that we are still moving forward towards justice for our clients. While things may not be ideal, there is always a way.

Same but different.

Charlotte.

Charlotte Perkins has specialised in asbestos claims throughout her career as a solicitor and has represented victims and their families from all over the UK.  Ensuring that as many people suffering from an asbestos-related condition as possible, have access to specialist advice is Charlotte’s first priority. Her clients and their families are always dealt with warmly, sensitively and compassionately.

For more information contact Charlotte on charlotte.perkins@jcpsolicitors.co.uk or telephone 01792 529611.

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