Family of mesothelioma victim donate cash from compensation to Marie Curie

A factory worker’s family has agreed a five-figure out-of-court settlement over his death from asbestos-related disease.

Michael Puddicombe died in March last year, aged 65, after a two-year battle with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos decades ago when he was working in a brake pad factory.

His family, who was left devastated by his death, will now be giving some of the money to the Marie Curie hospice in Bradford as a thank you for its care.

Mr Puddicombe’s son Matthew, 23, took up his dad’s fight for compensation after he died. Mr Puddicombe had instructed asbestos expert solicitors Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where he was exposed to the asbestos that caused him to develop the disease.

The family’s solicitor, Lucy Andrews, said Mr Puddicombe had worked for BBA Group Limited, now known as BBA Aviations PLC, in 1974 to 1975 and again from 1976 to 1977, and it was while he was working in the factory that he was exposed to asbestos fibres and dust as he made brake pads.

It was alleged that the company did not take reasonable steps to protect him from high levels of asbestos dust and fibre. Ms Andrews said:

“Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress for people like Michael and his family. Matthew provided his father with as much help as he could until he went into the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford where he remained until he died.

The hospice provided exceptional care and support to Michael and his family and we have successfully recovered a substantial figure towards the costs of his care from the defendant, which will be donated to Marie Curie.”

Mr Puddicombe said:

“We are still coming to terms with his death and have been determined to continue to fight for justice for him so we’re glad a settlement has now been agreed. No amount of money will change what has happened or bring dad back but we are glad that some of the money will go to the hospice, which was there for dad when he needed their help.”

A BBA Aviations PLC spokesman said:

“BBA Aviation no longer operates in asbestos-using industries and does not comment on individual legal proceedings.”