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    Daughter continues asbestosis victim’s fight


    A court will be asked to double the £45,000 compensation payout to the family of a Bristol woman who died after years of washing her husband’s asbestos-tainted overalls.

    Lawyers acting on behalf of Sheila and David Rees, of Bishopsworth, are seeking damages of £90,000 after the death of Mrs. Rees’s mother, Florence Base.

    Mrs. Base, who was 74, died seven years ago from an asbestosis-related disease.

    If the landmark action succeeds it could lead to a huge increase in damages paid to families who have suffered similarly. It follows a Law Commission report recommendation that damages in such cases are “too low and should be increased by 50 per cent or doubled”.

    Mrs. Base, who lived in The Chessels, Bedminster started the action just before her death from mesotheliomia, a tumour resulting from exposure to asbestos.

    Her husband, Robert, died the previous year, aged 69, from lung cancer.

    Mr. Base worked for the now defunct St Jude’s roofing firm John Perkins from 1946-68, when he regularly came into contact with asbestosis. His wife contracted the tumour because she regularly washed his overalls.

    She used to shake them out in the garden, creating “clouds of dust” before she washed them.

    Mr. and Mrs. Rees decided to continue the fight after Mrs. Base died. They said her campaign had nothing to do with winning damages, but obtaining justice.

    Compensation was awarded by a Court of Appeal judge just over a year ago after a complex legal process which involved reinstating the John Perkins firm and suing its insurers.

    “Bristol Evening Post”

    Humphreys & Co. are pleased to support the North Bristol NHS Trust Mesothelioma Research Fund