As an employee, you should be safe in your place of work and protected from any health risks.
However, many employers fail to uphold the necessary health and safety standards around the handling and disposing of asbestos.
There are a number of disease types caused by exposure to asbestos which require compensation, including:
Asbestos-related diseases are disorders of the lung and pleura caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres. It can take many years for the disease to develop from the time of exposure to the development of the disease.
Symptoms of asbestos related disease may include a persistent cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain or tightness, wheezing, chest or lower back pain, loss of appetite.
If you are diagnosed with one of the above conditions, you may be entitled to claim compensation from your current/former employers. It is often the case that employers have stopped trading but this does not mean that a claim cannot be pursued, as we will enquire as to the identity of the Employers Liability Insurers on cover during the period of exposure.
The claims process involves submitting details of the claim to the Defendant company or, more likely, their Employers Liability Insurers.
An independent medico-legal report will also be obtained to report upon the asbestos-related disease you are suffering from. It might also be necessary to obtain evidence from a consulting engineer to comment on the likely levels of exposure that you would have been exposed to during your employment.
If a settlement is achieved, settlement can be agreed on a full and final basis, or on a provisional damages (which allows you to return for further compensation in the future in the event that your disease progresses or you are diagnosed with a more serious asbestos-related disease).
We were instructed to act for a gentleman who developed asbestosis as a result of exposure to asbestos from 1955 until the early 1980s during his employment at the Ironbridge, a power station in Shropshire.
He was exposed to asbestos by virtue of working on the valves within the power station which he would have to pack out with asbestos. This required him to personally mix asbestos from a tin into a paste to pack out the gland. He was also responsible for changing glands which comprised asbestos. Both of those tasks caused him to be exposed to significant levels of respirable asbestos dust and fibres. He was also responsible for spraying asbestos onto boilers within the power station.
We recovered immediate damages in excess of £35,000 and we agreed the award on a provisional damages basis, meaning that he could reopen the claim and seek further damages if he develops a more serious asbestos-related disease in the future.
We were instructed to act for a gentleman who developed malignant mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos from the 1960s through to the late 1980s during his employment with the General Post Office (thereafter British Telecom).
The Claimant was exposed to asbestos when working in telephone exchanges across the country where asbestos boards were used to upgrade and modify the exchanges and large numbers of small bags of asbestos were used to pack around cables where the cables would pass through walls or ceilings.
It was alleged that the Claimant’s exposure to asbestos was significantly above usual background levels in breach of the Defendants duties to him and the level of exposure was sufficient to cause mesothelioma. Sadly the Claimant passed away during the claims process and the claim was then pursued on behalf of the Estate. We were able to achieve a successful settlement for the Estate in the sum of £105,500.
We acted for an individual who was employed by a Manchester based multi-national engineering company installing steam turbines into large cargo and passenger ships all over the world.
The engine rooms of these ships where the Claimant worked contained extensive asbestos lagging which the Claimant had to remove. The Claimant also had to work in very close proximity to other workmen frequently mixing an asbestos powder to form a cement type material which would then be applied to pipes and the turbine itself.
This work caused the Claimant to be exposed to significant amounts of respirable asbestos dust. Approximately 40 years after this employment he sadly developed lung cancer which we successfully argued was caused by his asbestos exposure. The Claimant received compensation in excess of £100,000
We acted for an individual who was employed as a plumber throughout his working life. Part of his job required him to repair damaged pipework or repair a leak which involved him breaking through asbestos lagging to expose the pipe. He also had to personally mix asbestos to form a paste to apply to the pipework.
Some of the buildings he worked in included factories, schools, local authority buildings, old houses and suchlike. The Claimant was supplied with an overall which he wore all week before taking it home to his wife to be washed, which resulted in further exposure to him and his wife. The Claimant developed pleural thickening as a result of his exposure to asbestos and he obtained damages in excess of £15,000.
We agreed the award on a provisional damages basis meaning that he could reopen the claim and seek further damages if he was to develop a more serious asbestos related disease in the future or deterioration of his condition.
If you have an illness or health condition that you suspect was caused by negligence in the workplace, get in touch with the expert occupational disease solicitors at Verisona Law.
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