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Landmark payout opens asbestos claims to 'hundreds'
A WOMAN who developed terminal cancer after playing “snowball” fights with deadly asbestos dust from a North-East factory near her childhood home has won “substantial” damages, in a case which could lead to hundreds more compensation claims running into millions of pounds.
Caroline Wilcock, now a London-based fashion designer, sued the successors of the Cape asbestos factory, in Bowburn, County Durham, after being diagnosed with mesothelioma – a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos particles.
The case was due before the High Court today (Wednesday, October 16), before an 11th-hour settlement was reached out of court for an undisclosed “substantial” sum.
The deal is being hailed as a legal landmark with implications for generations to come, potentially opening compensation claims not only to former Cape workers but also people living near their factories.
Andrew Morgan, a personal injuries lawyer from London law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse who represented Miss Wilcock, said: “Cape took no steps to protect the community in Bowburn. They knew they were exposing 5,000 people to the risk of terminal illness.”
Cape did not respond to The Northern Echo’s request for comment.
Miss Wilcock, now 51, said she was pleased and relieved at the outcome.
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