Have BT exposed their workers to asbestos?


We recently helped the daughter of a CWU member, who died of mesothelioma at the age of 89. We managed to secure compensation from BT after they exposed her father to asbestos when he worked for them.Asbestos Exposure

Longstanding employee

He worked for BT for 41 years, from 1946-1987 and during this time he was exposed to asbestos in several ways. Whilst working on the underground cable system, asbestos was constantly disturbed and had to be swept up. He also used a worn down asbestos woven blanket as a safety precaution.

This man’s case is not an isolated problem. Many BT workers have come forward, from people who work in the exchanges, to people who work outside carrying out cabling work.

Simpson Millar LLP provides a voice to BT engineer and his family

We first spoke to the BT engineer when he contacted the Communication Workers Union (CWU). We managed to talk to him and get a witness statement before he passed away. Before this, he endured a lot of pain and suffering in his chest, because the asbestos dust was attacking his lungs.

It was possible that he was exposed to asbestos in his time in the Royal Navy during the war. However, this idea was later disproven. If it wasn’t, this could have made his claim more difficult, as it would allow BT to argue that they were not fully responsible.

From here, we set out to show how BT exposed the man to asbestos reducing his life expectancy. We also showed the cost to the family of caring for him, and expenses such as hiring a gardener and funeral costs.

Armed with this evidence, we pursued BT, but their first offer was not the best for our client. However, we managed to negotiate a settlement of £58,000 for his family.

Top tips to take home

  • Contact a solicitor to see whether they have experience of helping with claims against your employer
  • You/your loved one’s employment history is important when it comes to making a mesothelioma claim – try to make a note of everywhere you worked and any asbestos exposure you may have had
  • Check if you are part of a trade union – they can often help to reduce your legal costs

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