Ex pat secures settlement after mesothelioma diagnosis

A retired British electrical engineer who now lives overseas has secured a settlement of over £170,000 after his mesothelioma diagnosis, thanks to support from law firm Sintons.

Bill Stead was exposed to asbestos while working for the Eastern Electricity Board in Luton during the 1960s and 1970s, where his job was to install storage heaters into domestic homes.

After working hard all his life, Bill and his wife Nazzirha moved to Spain in 2010 to enjoy their retirement.

However, in April last year, aged 76, Bill was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive terminal cancer of the lung caused by asbestos exposure. On diagnosis, Bill and Nazzirha had little idea of what the industrial disease was.

The couple contacted the specialist asbestos team at Sintons, led by Raelene Lingam, shortly after the diagnosis. Despite living in Spain, the Steads decided to instruct Newcastle-based Sintons after finding them online.

Raelene – who was a senior intensive care nurse before qualifying as a solicitor – was able to deal with Bill’s foreign medical records and successfully overcome the difficulties around bringing an overseas claim to secure a quick settlement.

A lump sum benefit payment of £13,919 was secured from the UK Government within weeks of the claim being brought – which the Steads did not know they were entitled to and gave them much-needed financial assistance – and shortly after admission of liability, a further £50,000 interim payment was made.

The claim settled for over £170,000 in January of this year, which provides the security for Bill to know his wife, three children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren can be looked after.

Mrs Stead said: “When Bill was diagnosed, it was a very worrying and scary time. We didn’t even know what mesothelioma was, we had to look it up on the computer. At such a difficult time, we are very grateful for the clear advice and genuine care and compassion we received from Sintons and from Raelene, who we were particularly impressed with.

“We had no idea what we would be entitled to and hadn’t thought about any interim payments – but thanks to Sintons, we were able to adapt our home a lot earlier than we otherwise would have been able to. We had better heating and a shower installed in our home last year to make life a little bit easier for Bill.

“Making a claim was a scary and unknown process for us initially, but we are very grateful indeed for the support and professionalism from Sintons, who have made the last few months a lot easier for us.”

Raelene Lingam, specialist asbestos solicitor at Sintons, said: “Bill and Nazzhira found themselves in the very frightening position of being given a diagnosis of mesothelioma, with little idea of what the disease actually is, let alone how to go about claiming the compensation they were entitled to. Despite the fact they now live abroad and the claim dates back as far as 50 years, our specialist asbestos team were able to act quickly and secured an interim payment and a final settlement in a short period of time.

“We at Sintons are very pleased to be able to support our clients at such difficult periods of their life, and offer them the support and guidance they need to be able to secure the financial settlements they deserve.”

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