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Landmark legal agreement for treatment payments

Expert industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell LLP have successfully secured a landmark agreement with defendant insurers to cover the costs of future cancer treatment for our client, who suffers from mesothelioma due to being exposed to asbestos during his employment decades ago.

Our client, who is based in Leeds, instructed Irwin Mitchell after he was diagnosed with the condition in 2015.

It is believed that he was exposed to asbestos while working with asbestos insulation board sheets when employed by John Atkinson & Sons Limited. The boards would need to be cut, by hand, to size which created dust that would linger and leave him exposed.

The landmark agreement in this case creates a Periodical Payments Order and means that a settlement did not have to wait until our client’s doctors actually advised that he should receive immunotherapy treatment, thereby avoiding the need to estimate treatment costs ahead of time in an area of huge change, both in terms of the drugs available and their cost.

It will ensure that he will have enough funds to cover the cost of any such treatment in future, no matter what that treatment is and no matter for how long it lasts. This is the first of its kind for mesothelioma cases.

The key features of the landmark agreement are:

  • It was recognised that there was a realistic risk that at some time in the future the condition would advance to the point where immunotherapy (or biological therapy) was deemed suitable for him
  • That the Order would not trigger until such time as a treating oncologist recommended its provision
  • Once the Order is triggered, the insurer would commence quarterly payments at a rate assuming the most expensive of the immunotherapy drugs available. However once treatment had begun, the actual price would be worked out and parties would work together to ensure either shortfall was covered, or excess was returned
  • If different drugs were recommended, then the payments would change to match the new therapy cost.


For more information on the case, please contact Ian Toft at ian.toft@irwinmitchell.com