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Home > News > Asbestosis sufferer receives compensation for exposure to asbestos

19th January 2009

Asbestosis sufferer receives compensation for exposure to asbestos

Our client asked for our specialist asbestos-related compensation claim advice following his diagnosis of the potentially fatal asbestos-related asbestosis.

In his early 70’s, our client had been suffering from increasing breathlessness for many years. Frequent visits to his GP had resulted in his being diagnosed with bronchitis, based mainly on the fact that he had been a smoker for most of his life. He was prescribed tablets for this condition but they failed to provide any improvement to his breathing.

After many years of suffering, our client was referred to a consultant who arranged for a chest scan. Shortly after this, our client was correctly diagnosed as suffering from asbestosis, caused from his extensive exposure to asbestos during his middle working years.

Asbestosis robs sufferers of their quality of life

Retired at 65, our client had a wife, children and several grandchildren. He had looked forward to spending time with them all but his crippling disease has robbed him of the quality of life he had expected. His breathlessness means he is unable to carry out any of the normal household tasks such as DIY, gardening, and even helping with the housework, which he used to do. He is unable to walk even short distances without getting breathless. His condition continues to deteriorate and he frequently suffers from a dry cough.

Exposure to asbestos during his working life

Like most men of his generation, following a few short years at work, our client had been conscripted to complete his national service, resuming his career in the early 1960’s.

During the 1960’s, our client was engaged in several occupations throughout the docks. At various times he was exposed to asbestos by the nature of his work but was also exposed through the demolition of buildings that contained asbestos. Following heavy bombing during the war, much of the docks area had been damaged and was being cleared for new buildings, or refurbished. No care was taken regarding the disposal of asbestos, and many of the workers used hammers to break down the asbestos roofs and sides.

The whole area in which our client work was constantly filled with the dust and debris of this work. Tools and equipment would be covered in the dust and he would have to blow it away before handling them, breathing in the lethal dust and fibres as he did so. At the end of each day, his clothes would be covered in the dust, which he would brush off by hand.

All of these activities generated clouds of asbestos dust and fibres and there was no alternative but to inhale them. His employer, the defendant, provided no protective equipment, or even overalls, and never warned him about the possible dangers of developing asbestos-related diseases through exposure to asbestos.

In the late 1960’s our client left this type of work and was not to his knowledge further exposed to asbestos.

Asbestosis symptoms

When he later started to experience the breathlessness, he had not considered that it would be asbestos-related, since his exposure had been so many years before. Sadly, all too often, the development of these tragic diseases can take several decades to occur.

Unfortunately, once the diagnosis had been made, nothing could be done to treat his condition due to other unrelated medical problems that he had developed. At the time of the award, our client had been forced to use oxygen to assist with his breathing and his condition continues to deteriorate.

Negligence by the employer breaches regulations

The claim was brought on the basis that the defendant had been negligent in that they had breached sections of the Factories Acts 1937 and 1961, and the Asbestos Industry Regulations 1931. They had failed to:

Court proceedings issued in asbestosis compensation claim

The other side refused to offer an acceptable level of compensation and our specialist personal injury solicitors, who have extensive experience in all asbestos-related diseases, were forced to issue court proceedings. However, prior to the trial date, our client decided to accept an increased offer of a substantial sum from the defendant, in full and final settlement of his compensation claim.

Asbestosis compensation claims

Clear Answers’ teams of experts are waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your asbestosis compensation claim. We will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, to answer any questions you may have regarding your claim, and to talk you through the claims process in plain English.

Our specialist lawyers have a reputation for obtaining the maximum compensation for people who suffer from an asbestos-related disease as a result of negligence by the employer.

If you or a family member is suffering or has suffered an asbestos-related disease, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, a representative will contact you as quickly as possible if you complete one of our on-line compensation claim forms.

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