Over £200,000 Compensation for Asbestos Exposure at Work

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Anthony Waddington

Partner, Industrial Disease Claims

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Client Situation

Mr Clapton, 84, became ill in June 2018 with increasing shortness of breath and a dry cough, so booked an appointment with his GP immediately.

The doctor booked him in for an immediate chest X-ray, which confirmed that he had fluid on his lung. There was no obvious explanation for this, as despite his age, he had never smoked and had been fit and healthy for his entire life.

Mr Clapton was booked in for a CT scan and following the same he was diagnosed as having incurable epithelioid mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma is very common for those who have worked in asbestos-related roles, and there are around 2,500 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 weightless

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 getting worse, but there is very little that can be done to cure it completely. 

Until his diagnosis, Mr Clapton had never suspected he may have an asbestos-related disease, as he hadn’t been ill for any length of time and hadn’t been exposed to asbestos for over 40 years.

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To find out more about how we can help following a work-related asbestos diagnosis, get in touch with our Industrial Disease team.

How We Helped

Mr Clapton was advised by the hospital to look into claiming compensation, who recommended he get in touch with our team of Industrial Disease Solicitors. Partner  Anthony Waddington took on his case, and immediately began looking into Mr Clapton’s work history, starting from when he left school in 1951, to find out when he could have been exposed to asbestos at work.

In 1956, Mr Clapton joined the South East Division of the Central Electricity Authority, which later changed names to the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB), which controlled the national power grid and was privatised in the early 1990s.

He told us that it was during this period that he was exposed to the asbestos which caused his mesothelioma at power stations he visited.

Mr Clapton worked at Northfleet Power Station while it was under construction, and although he didn’t personally have to carry out any asbestos lagging work, he was required to inspect pipework just after it had been freshly lagged with Asbestos.

He believed it was during this period that he breathed in asbestos dust that was being produced by the laggers, as the area they used was open and not screened off in any way. Mr Clapton also later had to inspect the lagged pipework, and in doing so he inadvertently disturbed asbestos dust into the air as he worked, leaving traces of the substance on his face, hair, hands and clothing. It was even joked about by his colleagues that after working in this area he looked like a snowman due to being covered in asbestos dust.

While carrying out the inspection work, he was not provided with any personal protective equipment, such as a dust mask or gloves, and just wore his ordinary work clothes, a donkey jacket, a hard hat, and he touched the asbestos lagged pipes with his bare hands.

After taking redundancy from CEGB in 1991 at the time it was privatised, he retired and had not been exposed to asbestos since. Specialist Asbestos Solicitor Anthony Waddington was therefore satisfied that Mr Clapton’s exposure occurred during his employment with the CEGB and Anthony approached the insurer of the Central Electricity Generating Board to claim compensation for Mr Clapton.

On average, in the UK, more than 55 out of 100 people will survive Mesothelioma for 1 year or more, but different types of the disease will affect patients differently – so Mr Clapton’s life expectancy was unknown at this time, but our mission was to secure end of life funding for his condition.

After accepting liability, we managed to secure a compensation payout of over £200,000 for Mr Clapton and his family. This amount will go on to pay for any ongoing medical and care costs, and ensuring his and his wives life will be as comfortable as possible.

Contact Us

At Simpson Millar, when compensation is awarded in mesothelioma claims, our client will always receive 100% of the compensation, because our success fee is 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 pain 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.


Cancer Research UK. (n.d.). Mesothelioma Survival Statistics. [Online] Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/mesothelioma/survival

Health and Safety Executive. (n.d.). Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). [Online] Available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/ppe/index.htm

Asbestos.com. (n.d.). Mesothelioma Cure Information. [Online] Available at: https://www.asbestos.com/treatment/mesothelioma-cure/

Cancer Research UK. (n.d.). Mesothelioma Statistics. [Online] Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/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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