Asbestos warning sign

Compensation recovered for children of former electrical, plumbing and building worker diagnosed with asbestosis

Settlement of asbestosis claim achieved following exposure to asbestos dust in the 1960s and 1970s

Jonathan Herbert, specialist industrial disease lawyer acting for the claimants successfully settled a claim on behalf of the Executors of Mr A’s Estate to compensate him for his pain and suffering and financial losses due to respiratory disability caused by negligent exposure to asbestos dust when working for a company run by his brother.

Mr A developed asbestosis as a result of being negligently exposed to asbestos dust.  He had been employed by his brother’s electrical, plumbing, heating and building work company as a full time labourer from about 1963 to 1968 and then again from 1971 to 1973.  He was exposed to and inhaled significant quantities of asbestos dust on a regular basis as follows:

  • when installing classroom oil heaters which had asbestos flue pipes;
  • when maintaining and repairing existing asbestos flue pipes;
  • when repairing leaking pipework to boilers which involved removing asbestos lagging from the leaking pipes using hand tools and then mixing new asbestos lagging for replacing on the pipework after the repair was complete;
  • when using a hand saw to cut asbestos pipes and an electric drill to make holes in asbestos fittings;
  • when using a file to smooth down rough edges of asbestos containing materials;
  • when using asbestos rope to seal pipes;
  • when using asbestos insulated cabling; and
  • when working alongside other workers who were removing asbestos lagging and mixing new asbestos lagging.

No protective clothing or masks were provided to him by his employer and he received no training or warning about the dangers of asbestos dust.  In the course of his employment, Mr D inhaled asbestos dust.

Many years later, Mr A was diagnosed with asbestosis which caused increasing symptoms up to his date of death.  He required increasing levels of care and assistance.  His life was foreshortened by 3.6 years as a result of the asbestosis.

It was argued that the relevant periods of employment amounted to just over 80% of all of Mr A’s exposure to asbestos dust.

Mr A’s former employer made no admissions and directions leading to trial were ordered.  The most significant order being that the parties had permission to rely on expert engineering evidence.  An offer made by the claimants to settle the issue of liability on the basis that judgment is entered for the claimants to receive 80% of the full value of the claim with damages to be assessed by the court and payment of their reasonable costs to be assessed it not agreed was accepted and thereafter the case settled before trial.

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

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