Blooms asbestos pay-out

By James Brewster, March 22, 2012
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The daughter of a waiter who died from asbestos-related cancer after 30 years working in Bloom's kosher restaurant has settled a damages claim against her late father's employers for £70,000.

Miltiades Charalambous, known as Milton, emigrated from Cyprus to Finsbury Park in the mid-1960s. He worked as a waiter at Bloom's, on Whitechapel High Street, between 1967 and 1996. He died in 2010, aged 70, suffering from mesothelioma, an incurable cancer of the lining of the lungs.

Helen Michael, his daughter, and the executrix of his will, sued M Bloom (Kosher) & Son Ltd, claiming that her father contracted the disease at work.

Harry Steinberg, for Ms Michael, told Judge Martin McKenna at London's High Court that her case was that her father's "devastating illness" was caused by him sorting dirty linen in the basement of the restaurant, close to a boiler and pipes lagged with materials containing asbestos. The Whitechapel restaurant closed in 1996.

The company denied liability, but an 11th-hour compromise was reached on Tuesday, without admission of liability, whereby the company agreed to pay his family £70,790 to settle the case.

Helen Michael said: "We were all absolutely devastated at Dad's sudden death and we were desperate to find answers as to who was responsible for him coming into contact with asbestos.

"He loved working at Bloom's restaurant and being part of what he described as an institution in the local community."

The family was represented by the asbestos-related disease expert, Nicola Maier, of the London law firm Irwin Mitchell.

    Last updated: 4:27pm, March 22 2012