Husband awarded huge payout after wife’s asbestos death

31st July 2014

A husband has received a huge payout after his wife died of asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.

Ian Knauer won £647,840 in damages to account for the “loss of services” which were provided by his wife, Sally, who died in 2009. Mrs Knauer was exposed to asbestos when she was employed as an administrator between 1997 and 2007 at Guy’s Marsh Prison in Shaftesbury, reports

High Court judge, Mr Justice Bean, said that Mrs Knauer suffered a lot before her death, as she was constantly on morphine to control the pain, and had to undergo radical surgery. The payout to Mr Knauer was so large because his wife used to do everything for him and his children. She cooked, cleaned, looked after the dogs, did the laundry and shopped. The majority of the payout accounts for this, with £88,160 awarded for “past services dependency” and £329,241 for “future services dependency”, reports

Harry Steinberg, the family’s barrister, said Mrs Knauer regularly came into contact with asbestos during her time at the prison.

“This family has lost the convenience, comfort, security and added quality of life of having someone who provided help out of love and affection,” he told the judge. “Mr Knauer had also lost his wife’s emotional support, kindness and companionship. Her love and support would have been provided for some 43 years were it not for her illness and death.”