Helen is a specialist asbestos solicitor based at Thompsons’ Newcastle office.
As one of Thompsons’ experienced solicitors, Helen deals with complex cases that require sensitivity and compassion. Helen frequently works with clients who have been diagnosed with asbestos-induced terminal cancer, mesothelioma.
Most of her clients are terminally ill and she aims to assist them with the legal process at a time when they are under immense stress following the diagnosis.
These cases require a lawyer who has experience and knowledge in this specialist field and Helen uses both those qualities to ensure that cases are resolved as promptly and efficiently as possible.
Helen has a track record of securing substantial sums of compensation for victims of asbestos-related disease, helping to provide financial security for her clients and their families.
Helen has worked at Thompsons since qualifying as a solicitor in 2001 and has been a member of the specialist asbestos team for 14 years.
Helen says the most rewarding thing is knowing that she has secured financial compensation for victims of asbestos disease who will know that their loved ones will be financially secure following their death.
Away from work Helen enjoys spending time with her young family and, when time permits, travelling abroad.
Helen's case experience
Below you will find a small selection of the successful asbestos compensation claims Helen has dealt with from Thompsons Solicitors’ Newcastle office.
Mr H worked as an apprentice and then qualified electrical fitter and was exposed to asbestos as a result of working in sub-stations throughout the North East. He was not warned of the dangers of asbestos and was not provided with any respiratory protection.
On the basis of Thompsons’ comprehensive witness evidence confirming frequent exposure to the material, the defendants’ insurer admitted that Mr H would have been negligently exposed to asbestos.
Initially Mr H thought he had a chest infection, but was subsequently diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. He underwent major surgery to his lung, but follow-up scans confirmed his tumour was rapidly advancing. He started chemotherapy and suffered severe side effects.
Mr H was willing to try anything to halt the advance of his mesothelioma. Helen obtained a report from a leading oncologist which indicated that he would be suitable for immunotherapy treatment. Working with his NHS consultant, a private referral was made to allow him to start immunotherapy under a local oncologist. Helen recovered an interim payment of £50,000 to allow him to fund the treatment.
Sadly, after only three months of immunotherapy treatment, his private oncologist indicated that the treatment was not working and advised discontinuance. Mr H died only four weeks later.
Despite making an early offer to settle the claim, the defendants failed to respond and so court proceedings were issued which culminated in the defendant agreeing to enter negotiations. Helen secured an offer of £275,000.00 (gross) in full and final settlement of the claim.
A shipyard joiner worked at Blyth Dry Docks and Shipbuilding Co in Northumberland in the early 1960s for about seven years. As a joiner, he made furniture for ships and fitted out cabins which involved cutting asbestos sheets to box in pipes. He also worked alongside laggers who were handling asbestos.
From the late 1960s to the early 1990s he worked as a fire fighter when he was further exposed to asbestos. He attended fires at power stations, factories and shipyards, often breaking through asbestos lagging to isolate the source of the fire. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2012.
The Fire Brigades Union referred him to Helen who took up his case. After issuing court proceedings, she was able to recover £247,500 in compensation on his behalf.
An engineer was exposed to asbestos when he was subcontracted to work at a brewery in Bedford. His job included repairing asbestos-insulated pipe work, but he was never warned of the dangers of the material or given any protective equipment.
After being told that he had mesothelioma, he contacted Thompsons to pursue a compensation claim. Sadly, he died just a few months later and his widow continued the claim on his behalf. Helen was able to recover £107,000 for the family.
An Irish farmer was exposed to asbestos after he moved to the UK in his teens to find work. Between 1955 and 1964, he trained to use an oxyacetylene burner and was employed by a demolition company to strip asbestos in various workplaces, including power stations. At the time he had no idea it was so dangerous.
He returned to Ireland in 1975 to work on the family farm, but began to develop symptoms of mesothelioma in August 2011 when he went to his GP suffering from a cough. He was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma and contacted Thompsons Solicitors for advice. Helen made a claim against his former employer and settled the case out of court for £155,000.
Referring to a GMB case, Mrs Mary Carruthers wrote: “Dear Helen, I can't thank you enough for the work you have done to get me the money, and the time you have taken coming to see my husband and I before his death. There is no way you need to improve anything as your solicitors is tops. Thank you so much.”
Pauline Allison: “My husband and I would like to thank Helen for her hard work dealing with our claim. We found her very considerate and understanding. We would recommend Thompsons Solicitors to anyone.”
George Corbett: “My wife and I were more than pleased with your service. Helen explained everything in detail at every step. Helping us by giving clear outlines of how the case was going and what to expect. Thank you, we are totally satisfied.”