Woman settles case over husband’s death from asbestos exposure
Posted on 4th April 2019 at 21:11
A woman whose 79-year-old husband died as a result of spending 36 years of his working life being repeatedly exposed to asbestos particles has settled her High Court action for an undisclosed sum.
Máire Ní Uiginn’s husband, Michael Higgins, worked as a sales director/manager in Britain and Ireland for a UK insulation company.
He died on December 19th, 2015, from malignant mesothelioma, a lung disease caused by asbestosis.
Ms Ní Uiginn sued Cape plc of Jersey, Channel Islands, Cape Insulation Ltd of Middlesex, England, Cape Ireland Ltd, Dublin, and Cape Intermediate Holdings, also Middlesex.
The defendants accepted liability and the case was before the court for assessment of damages only.
Following talks on Thursday, Mr Justice Michael Hanna was told the matter had been settled. In her action, Ms Ní Uiginn claimed the defendants failed in their duty to take reasonable precautions for the health and safety of her husband.
It was claimed, between 1956 and 1991, Mr Higgins’ work involved going to various commercial premises and building sites under the control of the defendants during which he was repeatedly and continuously exposed to asbestos particles.
As a result, he developed mesothelioma which ultimately caused his death. His widow, a retired education co-ordinator, told the court that, when her husband was diagnosed in November 2015, it was a great shock to her and their adult daughter Áine. He was given a very short time to live and died the following month.
Bernard McDonagh SC, instructed by Brian O’Sullivan of AC Forde Solicitors, told the court liability was conceded but the only issue was the difference between the medical experts concerned the life expectancy of Mr Higgins.
The court heard doctors for each side would give evidence in relation to this matter.
When the case resumed later on Thursday, the judge was told the matter had been settled following talks.
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