We Solicitors were proud to attend and support the annual MAVS Asbestos and the Law Conference on Friday 14th September 2012.

The day was chaired by Peter Cowan and attended by asbestos experts and lawyers from across the region to discuss the recent developments in asbestos law.

We were honoured to have the relatives of Mr and Mrs Thomas Fox also attend the day. Mr Fox’s case was brought by his widow after he had died of mesothelioma and was one of three cases heard as part of Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services. The courageous decision of Mrs Fox enabled a change in law and ensured that future Mesothelioma suffers and their families can now claim compensation.

The decision faced by Mrs Fox was whether to take the money offered by the Defendants (which would bring an end to her claim out of court), or continue with the claim and risk losing it all. If she took the money it meant that the law would remain as it had been decided in the Court of Appeal. That compensation for mesothelioma could not be claimed, if more than one employer exposed the sufferer to asbestos. This is because it is impossible to prove where the asbestos fibre(s) that caused the cancer were inhaled. This would leave others not able to claim compensation for mesothelioma.

Faced with this stark choice of either accepting the offer, or continuing with the claim where she could have either won (allowing mesothelioma suffers to claim), or have lost (meaning no compensation would be paid to her and other mesothelioma suffers would still not be able to claim). Mrs Fox held her nerve and won her case so paving the way for asbestos suffers to access justice.

A presentation was made to her family in gratitude of the wonderful self sacrifice and bravery she showed.