Belfast Widower’s Asbestos claim settled for £350,000

Our client worked as a fitter/welder for Belfast Harbour Commissioner and Harland & Wolff Plc in the 1960s and 1970s where he was exposed to asbestos dust in the course of his work and working alongside others who lagged pipes with asbestos.

Our client’s late wife was then exposed to the same asbestos fibres when he travelled home from work with the dust on his clothing. This is known as secondary or domestic exposure to asbestos and this was a common occurrence involving a housewife who greeted her asbestos fiber-laden husband (or could be son, father, etc.) each day when he came home from work. Usually, these workers were given no opportunity to change clothes or shower before they headed home; hence, their clothing, hair, and body were often covered with dust when they arrived. The women were charged with the responsibility of shaking out the dust and laundering the clothes. Some did this every night. Once the clothes were shaken, the tiny fibers would become airborne and were easy to inhale, especially in a small enclosed space like a kitchen, where ventilation was likely to be poor. Decades later, she would be diagnosed with as asbestos disease.

Unfortunately in this case our client’s wife was later diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a form of cancer. It is estimated by health professionals that about 2,500 people a year are diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Sadly our client’s wife subsequently passed away 2 years later. A claim for damages was pursued against Belfast Harbour Commissioner and Harland & Wolff by our Michael Hollywood, a partner who heads our asbestos team specialising in asbestos related claims.

Medical evidence in this case, namely the detailed medical reports from Consultant Respiratory Physicians, focused on the mesothelioma condition suffered by our client’s late wife and her untimely reduction in life expectancy.  Michael Hollywood also included a financial claim for the household tasks that his wife previously undertook as a wife and mother and for funeral and other expenses.

Our client’s claim successfully settled with £350,000.00 compensation received.

If you or a loved one have suffered from any asbestos related conditions, please get in touch with Michael Hollywood at 028 90770770 or email