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Compensation for mesothelioma recovered for man who worked in Chatham Dockyard for 27 years

This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Chemical Poisoning & Asbestos team who recently negotiated a full value settlement for a Chatham Dockyard worker who developed mesothelioma 25 years after the Dockyard closed.

Ernest Watson left school at age 15 and started working in the Rope Maker Department at HM Chatham Dockyard.  He remained a worker at the Dockyard until it closed in 1982. As is widely known, Chatham Dockyard was riddled with asbestos and over 25 years since leaving, Ernest developed mesothelioma. We recovered for Ernest an undisclosed six figure settlement.

Soon after starting in the Dockyard, Ernest started and then completed a welding apprenticeship. He was exposed to asbestos as a welder aboard ship refits between 1958 and 1969. Ernest believed he was exposed to asbestos, particularly when he worked on re-fiting HMS Loch Fada, HMS Lynx and HMS Chichester among others. While welding in the boiler and engine rooms, asbestos laggers were carrying out asbestos lagging nearby.  Ernest confirmed that the dust was extreme and there was no way for it to escape from the boiler rooms or engine rooms and that it was impossible not to breathe the asbestos dust in. Ernest described how his hair would be thick with asbestos dust at the end of each day. It was argued that insufficient steps had been taken to protect Ernest and breaches of The Factories Acts 1937 to 1961 and the Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Regulations 1960 were alleged.

Ernest’s claim was expedited to trial. A mere two weeks after issuing legal proceedings, Summary Judgment was entered in his favour and an interim payment was made. Three weeks after that, we negotiated a full value settlement.

Ernest was pleased with the settlement and grateful that the matter had been prioritised for him.

Read more about our experience in cases involving mesothelioma.

Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP specialises in industrial disease cases. If you would like to ask our team a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact Jonathan Herbert at Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP solicitors on 01892 701226 in confidence.

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