£135,000 Compensation for Asbestos Exposure at Work

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Our Industrial Disease Lawyers were asked by a man in his 80s to help him claim compensation for mesothelioma - an asbestos-related cancer of the lining of the lungs.

In early 2018, our client began noticing he was getting a lot of acid reflux, so booked an appointment with his GP. He had an endoscopy and was put on medication after being diagnosed with a hiatus hernia.

He later started experiencing chest pains and again he went to see his GP, who referred him for a chest X-ray. He went to hospital for a CT scan and was told there was a lot of fluid on his lung and some pleural thickening. He was later told he had malignant mesothelioma.

Our client opted not to undergo chemotherapy, as there was no guarantee it would extend his life, and he felt the side-effects wouldn’t be worth any possible benefit. He used to be fit and active, but now struggles with many physical tasks, including gardening, DIY and plumbing jobs that he would previously have carried out himself.

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How We Helped

Our client was keen to move closer to his children and grandchildren, or at the very least ensure his wife could afford to do so after he had died. He therefore opted to claim compensation for asbestos and approached Simpson Millar.

Gavin Evans, Industrial Disease Lawyer, agreed to take on his case and began putting together a full picture of his employment history.

Gavin and his team were able to trace our clients’ exposure to asbestos back to a job at an aircraft manufacturer in the 1950s. Our client had worked there as an apprentice carpenter, working on maintenance of both factory and offices, and spending lots of time in a wood mill making cabinets, furniture and carrying out repairs.

As part of his role, he was often required to cut large asbestos sheets to the required size and shape them by hand, which produced asbestos dust. His colleagues carried out similar work, causing some degree of asbestos exposure in the wood mill every single day.

There was no ventilation other than doors and windows, which provided little ventilation in summer and these were kept closed in autumn and winter. Wood dust and asbestos dust would have accumulated in many different parts of the wood mill, such as on window sills and shelves, because it wasn’t cleaned from one year to the next. While general labourers would come in and clean the floor each day, their work would often create a lot of dust and release it into the air.

Asbestos dust would also gather in our client’s hair and on his clothing, in particular on a carpenter’s apron that he would wash at home after shaking it out to get the worst of the dust off.

Gavin arranged for our client to undergo an independent medical assessment, so he could get a third party report on his condition and medical prognosis. This could then be presented to the employer’s insurer as part of the asbestos claim for compensation.

The Outcome

Industrial Disease Lawyer Gavin Evans secured £135,000 in compensation for our client.

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