£200,000 Compensation Awarded for Mesothelioma

Posted on: 6 mins read
Last updated:
Anthony Waddington

Partner, Industrial Disease Claims

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Client Situation

A man in his 80s went to his GP after he began experiencing a shortness of breath. His GP then sent him for an X-ray which returned sinister findings. A month later, he had further investigations, including a CT scan, which finally led to his diagnosis of mesothelioma – an asbestos-related cancer of the lining of the lungs.

Mesothelioma is a thankfully a relatively rare disease but can occur in those who have worked with asbestos or been exposed to it, even in small amounts. There are around 2,700 cases in the UK every year. It mainly occurs around the lungs, hearts or abdomen, and it causes the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Night sweats
  • Persistent coughing
  • Swollen fingers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss

Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for mesothelioma, but prognoses at an early stage is far more positive than with a later stage diagnoses. Various medical treatments can be offered to prevent the disease from progressing as rapidly as it otherwise might, but there is nothing that can be done to cure it completely.  

Sadly, in September 2018, the man was advised that his mesothelioma was incurable and that the only treatment available was chemotherapy. The chemotherapy was offered to slow down the progression of the disease, butwouldn’t be able to stop it entirely. The doctors also told the man that his life expectancy would be a number of months, rather than years, because of this condition.

On average, in the UK, more than 55 out of 100 people will survive Mesothelioma for 1 year or more, but different types affect patients differently. The man in this case was only given a few months, as his diagnosis came at a later stage of the Mesothelioma’s development.

In the lead up to his diagnosis, our client was unaware that he was suffering an asbestos-related disease. When he was diagnosed he was then advised by the hospital that he should look into claiming compensation, which is when he first reached out to us.

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To find out more about how we can help following a mesothelioma diagnosis, get in touch with our industrial disease team.

How Simpson Millar Helped

The man contacted our specialist Industrial Disease Solicitors for help to claim compensation following the recommendation by the hospital and there, Partner Solicitor Anthony Waddington, who specialises in asbestos claims, took on the case.

Anthony visited the client at his home within 7 days of first contact in order to begin looking into his working history, so that he could try and work out when and where he may have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace.

According to Cancer Research, Asbestos is the largest cause of Mesothelioma in the UK. Supply and use of asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1999, but claims are still occurring due to the fact the asbestos was a very widely used product in many industries for decades and remains in many of our buildings today.  Out of all mesothelioma cases in the UK, more than 95% of them are from exposure to asbestos, so Anthony had to focus on where our client had been over exposed to this natural mineral and carcinogen.

He established that the man’s asbestos exposure occurred while he worked for one of the UK’s leading engineering and services businesses, NG Bailey. There, the man had worked at power stations around the UK, and heated oil pipelines in the Middle East over a period of several decades. The pipework had been lagged with asbestos and the man had been involved in work which disturbed the asbestos lagging.

Client History

Our client held the position of supervisor in charge of a team of electricians, working in an experimental power station during the early 1960s. Much of his work was carried out in areas where pipes were being lagged with asbestos for insulation purposes, and this would often need to be removed by hand when cabling was being tested for faults.

As a result, he often breathed in asbestos dust, some of which would settle on the floors and work surfaces, and would then be constantly disturbed by our client and his team as it was an active workplace.

Although the laggers did clean down the areas in which they had worked, this was just a rudimentary sweep with a stiff broom, rather than a specialised cleaning operation. This meant the asbestos dust would be re-disturbed by the brushing and moved around into the air, only to resettle again after they had gone.

Once the lagging work was completed, our client continued working in and moving through those areas and supervising staff in these locations. If an electrical fault was identified during testing on the cabling, which was a common occurrence, the electricians under his supervision would have to remove the lagging from the pipes to get at the cables beneath it in order to fix the faults. The lagging would be removed by hand and our client was frequently present while this was being done.

It was found that there were no special precautions in place when the workforce would remove the lagging, as it was simply ripped off by hand to get at the cables beneath. The lagging would then be discarded to the floor, and swept up later on.

Our client was frequently exposed to the asbestos dust from the lagging when this happened, and instead of wearing gloves, a dust mask or any personal protective equipment, he wore his ordinary work clothes.

Our client took on another job at the same company later on in his career, where he was again exposed to asbestos. He worked at a site where experimental power units were being built, including one designed to generate heat in an efficient and favourable way.

Heated pipes within the unit were lagged with asbestos lagging, mainly sectional asbestos lagging that came in pre-made half-pipe sections. It was cut using hand saws so it could fit around the pipes, and asbestos boards were also used and cut with hand saws in close proximity to our client.

This produced asbestos dust that lingered in the air and settled on the floors and surfaces, and would therefore have been constantly disturbed by people working in these areas.

Again, no warnings were given about asbestos, and no dust masks or breathing apparatus was provided for use in areas where the asbestos was present. Our client then took a job overseas with the same employer, where he was in close proximity to asbestos lagging once again, which would be removed from heated oil and steam pipes by hand and which produced asbestos dust.

If he were to do any of these rolestoday, then companies would need to abide by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, where specialist PPE and RPE would need to be worn. Although these regulations weren’t in place at the time of our client’s employment companies still owed a duty of care to their employees to protect them from known harm, as they were aware of the dangers that asbestos posed even in the 60s and 70s they should have taken measures to protect the man from harmful exposure to asbestos, and in failing to do they were negligent.

The Outcome

Industrial Disease Solicitor, Anthony Waddington, secured a compensation settlement of £200,000 for our client within 12 months of being instructed, and helped him apply for government benefits. Those included weekly Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit payments and a lump sum from the government – which he received within 8 weeks of us being instructed.

At Simpson Millar, when compensation is awarded in mesothelioma claims, our client will always receive 100% of the compensation, because our fees are paid by the defendant/insurers, and never by our clients.

If you have been in contact with asbestos due to someone else’s negligence and suffered illness and/or financial loss as a result, you too could be entitled to compensation. Call us on 0808 239 0144, for a free claims assessment with a friendly member of our team – it’s never too late to claim compensation from workplace negligence in your past.


UK Government. (Publication date not specified). "Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment." Available at: https://www.gov.uk/diffuse-mesothelioma-payment.

UK Government. (Publication date not specified). "Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit." Available at: https://www.gov.uk/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefit.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE). (Publication date not specified). "Asbestos: The licensed contractor’s guide (EM6)." Available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/em6.pdf.

NG Bailey. (Publication date not specified). "Home - NG Bailey." Available at: https://www.ngbailey.com/.

UK Government. (Publication date not specified). "Asbestos: General Information." Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/asbestos-properties-incident-management-and-toxicology/asbestos-general-information.

Cancer Research UK. (Publication date not specified). "Mesothelioma: Risks and causes." Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/mesothelioma/risks-causes.

Simpson Millar LLP. (Publication date not specified). "Asbestos Claims - Personal Injury Solicitors." Available at: https://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/personal-injury-solicitors/asbestos-claims/.

Cancer Research UK. (Publication date not specified). "Mesothelioma: Survival." Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/mesothelioma/survival.

Mayo Clinic. (Publication date not specified). "Chemotherapy." Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chemotherapy/about/pac-20385033

Asbestos.com. (Publication date not specified). "Is Mesothelioma Curable?" Available at: https://www.asbestos.com/treatment/mesothelioma-cure/

Cancer Research UK. (Publication date not specified). "Mesothelioma Statistics." Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/mesothelioma

NHS. (Publication date not specified). "Mesothelioma." Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/mesothelioma/.

Anthony Waddington

Partner, Industrial Disease Claims

Areas of Expertise:
Industrial Disease

Anthony is a Partner in our Industrial Disease department and specialises in high value Industrial Disease Claims.

He joined Simpson Millar as a Paralegal in 2006, and completed his training contract three years later, working in Simpson Millar's Industrial Disease, Civil Litigation and Personal Injury departments.

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