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Pannone Achieve Landmark Ruling for Widow Della Sabin in Asbestosis Case


A landmark court ruling has reduced the amount of asbestos fibres required to be found in a body before fibrosis (asbestosis or asbestos related lung cancer) can be said to be caused by exposure to asbestos.

The decision, made in the London High Court during the case of Della and Leslie Sabin, has the potential to help thousands of asbestosis sufferers and their families claim the compensation to which they are entitled.

Della Sabin, from Wigan, whose husband Leslie died from asbestosis in 2006 following exposure to raw asbestos during his time working for British Rail, commented “Leslie would be pleased to know that his legal fight was not in vain and that his case may well help thousands of others.”

Previously, based on research from Llandough Hospital it was accepted that at least 20 million asbestos fibres must be present in the body for fibrosis to be classed as asbestos-related; just 7 million were found to be present in lung tissue samples taken from Mr Sabin.

Expert advice from a pathologist at Duke University in North Carolina, where a wider study had been conducted, suggested that lower levels of asbestos fibres in the body were needed to prove the link between asbestos exposure and fibrosis. It was also argued that because Mr Sabin had lived for forty years after his exposure to asbestos, a large number of the fibres, as many as 28 million, would have ‘cleared’ from his body.

The Judge said that the Llandough Hospital values were, “Set too high, probably significantly too high” and found in favour of Mrs Sabin, awarding her £100,000 in compensation.

Pauline Chandler, a specialist in asbestos disease cases with law firm Pannone LLP, who represented Mrs Sabin during the case, said “This is a landmark decision that will benefit thousands of people. Asbestos disease is painful and distressing to live with and can very often prove fatal. Compensation for those who have been negligently exposed to asbestos dust can not restore health but it can help improve quality of life for sufferers and their families.”

Established in 1852, Pannone LLP is one of the UK’s leading law firms. For more information about making a compensation claim for asbestosis or any other asbestos-related disease, visit their website:


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