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Home > News > Personal Injury News

23rd November 2007

Thames Water Forced To Pay Compensation After Exposing Pump Worker To Asbestos

An 80 year old man diagnosed in 2006 with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos, has won £100,000 in compensation from Thames Water after contracting the disease whilst working at a Thames Water pumping station in London. The claim was brought  by Clear Answers' lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors.

The maintenance worker who lives in Littlehampton, West Sussex, was employed by Thames Water in the 1970s and ‘80s and worked at the Green Lane Pumping Station in Stoke Newington. Whilst employed by the water giant, he worked in a filtration area known as the ‘primaries’, the ceiling of which was crisscrossed with pipes through which water would run to the main site. These pipes were lagged with asbestos for insulation to prevent water from freezing. Whilst climbing up and down a ladder to gain access to a workshop, the man was exposed to asbestos, which was in very poor condition, both crumbling and dusty, and extremely dangerous.

In September 2006, he experienced severe breathing difficulties and immediately consulted his GP. Two months later, following an x-ray and further tests at Guy’s Hospital in London, he learned that he had mesothelioma, which was subsequently traced back, to his period of work with Thames Water.

He said: “This has come as a terrible shock to me. All my life I’ve worked in places where asbestos hasn’t been present, so to contract mesothelioma after working in a Thames Water plant so late on in my working life is absolutely devastating.

“I’ve undergone keyhole surgery twice and I experience constant pain in my lungs and back. When first diagnosed I was unable to go out at all. I would manage to drive to the shops but simply couldn’t walk around. I now find it difficult to climb stairs and I soon get out of breath if I try to walk anywhere. I’m always tired, have difficulty sleeping and take painkillers most of the time. It’s a terrible feeling; I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

Commenting, the client’s representative at Thompsons Solicitors, Ann-Marie Wilson, said: “My client worked in this pumping station for two years and would have been up and down the ladder to the workshop at least once every day. He was continuously exposed to asbestos dust, which can be lethal. Although he wore a hard hat, boots and gloves, he was not provided with any form of face mask and asbestos dust was almost always on his clothes.”

Compensation Claim

Clear Answers’ lawyers have a reputation for obtaining the maximum compensation for people who suffer from mesothelioma, or any asbestos-related disease, as a result of negligence by the employer. Our teams of experts are waiting to help you. 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.

Please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers if you or a family member is suffering or has suffered an asbestos-related disease.

Alternatively, a representative will contact you personally if you complete one of our on-line compensation claim forms.

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