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Mesothelioma Case Studies

Mr P, Asbestolux Fitter

Mr P was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2010.  He had been exposed to asbestos at a very significant number of companies over his working life, but it was only the insurers of Staverton Contractors that could be identified.  He was employed by this company in the late 1960s.  He was involved in the new build of offices.  He fitted asbestolux boards as fire protection behind radiators.  He had to handsaw the asbestos and secured the asbestos boards in place by using nails.  Electric saws were used to cut the asbestos dust. 

The defendant resisted the claim on the grounds that it was not asbestos that was being cut by Mr P.  Court proceedings were issued in the High Court in London. Disclosure of documents had to be obtained from a third party in relation to the build of the offices, attempts being made by the defendant to obtain documents which confirmed that the material was not asbestos.  These attempts failed, and the claim was subsequently settled in 2012 for £110,000.

Mr R, Steel Erector

Mr R was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2010.  He had been exposed to asbestos working for Aiton Limited at Londonderry Power Station as a steel erector, where he worked around laggers and was exposed to asbestos from the laggers.  He also worked at the Belvedere Power Station in Kent where he was exposed to asbestos.  Mr R was also employed at the Lysaght Steel Works in Scunthorpe were he worked as a steel erector where he was again exposed to asbestos from laggers.  The claim was brought against both defendants and settlement was achieved in 2011.

Mr F, Carpet Fitter

Mr F was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.  He had been exposed to asbestos as a carpet fitter in the 1970s.  He worked with Marley Tiles which contained asbestos and he had to cut the tiles to size and also remove Marley Tiles to replace them.  He used a shovel to prise in under the tiles to replace them. 

The claim was settled for £75,000 in 2012, during Mr F’s lifetime and within 6 months of our first involvement.

Mr B, Plant Installation and Removals Manager

Mr B, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2010.  He was exposed to asbestos as a plant installation and removals manager.  He was brought into contact with asbestos in various factories and industrial settings where he was supervising the removal of machinery and equipment, and as part of this ongoing work the machinery and equipment had to be disconnected from pipes lagged with asbestos.  He was exposed to asbestos from supervising the works.  The defendant had 3 insurers over the relevant time and liability was fiercely contested.  Court proceedings were commenced. 

The defendant disputed the claimant’s evidence and Mr B was required to give evidence on commission at his home in 2012.  Evidence on commission is a process whereby the Judge, barristers and solicitors take the claimant’s evidence at his house.  This was a process that the defendant had required and the court ordered.  At the time of the commission evidence, Mr B was very poorly, on morphine and it was a struggle to have to answer the questions from the defendants barrister.  It was clear through his evidence that he had difficulty concentrating.  Following the evidence on commission the defendant sought to argue that Mr B’s evidence was not reliable. 

The court proceedings continued and the matter came before the High Court in London for trial in December 2012.  The Judge held that he was entitled to take into account Mr B’s presentation when he was giving his evidence and have regard to the fact that he was very ill at that time.  He noted towards the end of the cross examination that Mr B had required morphine for his pain.  He considered that Mr B had presented as an intelligent and careful witness. He was satisfied that the claimant was credible and that the evidence set out in his witness statement was truthful and reliable. 

Judgment was given for the claimant and damages awarded in the sum of £168,000.

Mr M, Pipe Fitter / Welder

Mr M was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011.  He had been exposed to asbestos in the early 1970s working for Southern Heating Limited as an apprentice pipe fitter and subsequently a pipefitter/welder.  His job involved much work in old buildings, and many schools and hospitals that had boiler systems.  His job involved the removal of asbestos from pipes and lagging and he was exposed to considerable amounts of asbestos dust.  Mr M was just 16 years of age when he started his work with asbestos. 

Southern Heating Limited were no longer trading, but the insurers were identified.  The claim settled for £225,000 in 2011.

Mrs A, Electrician

Mrs A was the daughter and executrix of the estate of her late father, who had in November 2009 from mesothelioma.  He was exposed to asbestos when working for Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries (now Marstons PLC) and the Great Western Railways (British Rail).  He had worked at British Railways for approximately 18 years as an electrician’s assistant and had been exposed to asbestos there.  On occasions he and his colleagues would make footballs with asbestos and kick them around the site at Great Western Railways.  He  was also employed as an electrician with Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries and on one occasion had to remove boilers and pipework which were lagged with asbestos.  The claim was settled against both defendants.

Mr T, Joiner

Mr T was in his early 60s when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in the summer of 2010. He had worked as a joiner for a number of companies. 

Between 1961 and 1968 he cut and drilled asbestolux sheets for use in fire doors. 

He was exposed to asbestos here when sawing, scoring and snapping asbestos sheets and using a plane on the sides of the sheets.  He cut asbestos pipes to use as bolt boxes in the concrete foundations. In order to carry out this work he used a stihl saw to cut the asbestos, which released asbestos dust which he inhaled.

He was further exposed to asbestos in the late 1970s when his job involved cutting asbestos for soffit boards. As he sawed the asbestos the dust was released which breathed in.

No masks were provided at any of the defendant companies and no precautions were taken to prevent exposure to asbestos dust. 

The claim was a complicated claim involving potentially 5 defendants.  Very sadly Mr T passed away in 2011.  The claim was continued by his widow and a successful conclusion to the claim was achieved in September 2012 with damages being agreed in the sum of £165,000.

Mr Q, School Teacher

Mr Q was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2012. He approached the National Asbestos Helpline for assistance.  Our solicitors became involved in 2012. 

Mr Q had been a school teacher throughout his career.  He taught woodwork and metalwork and over the years he worked in number of schools.  He was exposed to asbestos from a hearth that was used for heating products in his metal work classes.  The inside of the cabinet which formed part of the double brazing hearth was insulated with asbestos.  From time to time Mr Q would brush the inside of the cabinet to clean it, and when he was doing this he released asbestos dust which he breathed in.  A claim was pursed against the relevant education authority and a settlement was achieved in 2012 for £215,000 during Mr Q’s lifetime. 

We are very pleased that our solicitors were able to achieve a settlement in this case within 6 months.

Mr W, Sheet Metal Worker

Mr W of Merseyside was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011.  During his working life he had been exposed to asbestos at 4 defendant firms. Mr W approached the National Asbestos Helpline in May 2011, and the matter was referred to our solicitors. 

A case was pursued against the 4 defendants. 

Firstly Mr W had been employed a company which manufactured metal duct and ventilation which was fitted in various locations around the country.  Mr W worked for them in the 1960s, his early years were undertaking his apprenticeships.  He frequently worked alongside laggers who were insulating pipes near where he worked.  The laggers would mix asbestos powder in buckets with water.  The mixing of the asbestos produced substantial amounts of asbestos dust which Mr W breathed in.  No masks were provided. 

In the early 1970s Mr W worked for a second company which manufactured ducts and pipework.  Asbestos cement was used in a number of the manufacturing processes, and they used it to insulate metal pipework.  He came into contact with asbestos when he took deliveries of the raw asbestos cement mixed bags.  Mr W’s job was to take them off the lorry and into the store room. He would carry the sacks on his shoulders.  The sacks were generally covered in asbestos dust and cement mixture and it was very common for them to split open and spill.  White asbestos fibres exploded into the air when this happened and he would be covered in asbestos dust.  He also went out onto site and had to install ventilation and duct work in roof areas.  In order to get access into the roof areas Mr W would cut holes in the corrugated roofing and through the ceiling and he had to crawl into the confined spaces.  The ceiling tiles were often made from asbestos and Mr W was exposed to asbestos dust in this way.  Asbestos rope was also used on many duct work jobs and this also released asbestos dust. 

Between approximately 1972 and 1973 Mr W was employed as a sheet metal worker at two companies and he went to various sites.  He was sent out to do contract work on old and new buildings and he worked alongside other tradesman such as laggers and ceiling fitters. 

The case proceeded against 4 defendants and was brought to a successful conclusion in 2012, when the claimant received £220,000 in damages.  We were pleased that we were able to achieve the settlement in Mr W’s lifetime.

Mr J, Plumber

Mr J from London was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.  He contacted us in February 2012 and our solicitors took the case on. 

In the late 1960s Mr J worked for Reliance Heating and Plumbing Co Limited.  He carried out plumbing work in both domestic and commercial premises. Amongst the jobs he regularly carried out was removal and replacement of cold water tanks and boiler flues. These tasks would involve breaking up the tanks or flues, both of which were made of or contained asbestos. Breaking them up released asbestos fibres which were inhaled by Mr J. 

He was also exposed to asbestos in schools and hospitals where other workers were removing asbestos lagging. Again asbestos dust and fibre was released and inhaled.

Mr J also worked at Ellis Plumbers of Kensington and Hayden Young Limited London in the 1970s. Both were plumbing and heating contractors and while in employment at both firms Mr J was exposed to asbestos from flues, cold water storage tanks, and pipes. 

The claim was pursued to a successful conclusion, in Mr J’s lifetime and within 6 months of our first involvement with the claim.

Mr H, Engineer

Mr H from the South-West, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2012. Mr H had been employed in the 1960s by Perkins Engineering of Peterborough.  He commenced working here as an apprentice engineer.  The company made diesel engines for a variety of suppliers in the agricultural, marine, automotive and industrial sectors.  At the time Perkins was one of only a few companies that made diesel engines along with the American firm Cummings. 

Mr H spent a period of time working in the welding department where asbestos mats were used for brazing.  The asbestos mats would deteriorate badly which caused the release of asbestos fibres.  Part of Mr H’s training involved working in a section where the engines’ starter motors were tested.  The starter motor was fitted underneath the engine and right next to the exhaust manifold which was wrapped in asbestos tape to insulate it. The claimant had to remove this tape and as he displaced it asbestos fibres were released which he breathed in.

The case was brought to a successful conclusion during Mr H’s lifetime, with a settlement in the sum of £265,000.

Mr E, Electrician

Mr E was diagnosed with mesothelioma in his early 60s. We became involved in the case in 2011 following the diagnosis.

Mr E had been employed at Swan Hunter Shipbuilders in the early 1970s and also by a local Council from the mid 1970s.  He was exposed to asbestos by both employers.

At Swan Hunter he worked on new build ships, securing electrical cables to trays with copper clips. The work was performed mainly in corridors and cable runs, and the areas were always dusty.  There were asbestos lagged pipes in these areas and in the course of his work Mr E disturbed the dust that was lying about on top of the asbestos pipes. 

At the Council Mr E was employed as an electrician and general maintenance person. Most of his work was in schools, including the boiler rooms where pipes were lagged with asbestos. The boiler rooms were very dusty and in the course of his work he would brush up against the asbestos lagged pipes disturbing asbestos dust. During school holidays he was employed to re-wire schools which entailed stripping out old cables and pipes, and renewing them all.  Again this exposed him to asbestos dust which became airborne when lagged pipework was disturbed.

Mr E was also employed doing general installation and maintenance work in public buildings.  He did much re-wiring work, removing light fittings or fitting additional circuits.  He had to lift out ceiling tiles and had to throw cables across the void. There was a lot of dust disturbance in this job and as asbestos was a common material used in ceiling tiles he was further exposed to asbestos fibre.

Settlement was obtained during Mr E’s lifetime in 2012 for the sum of £245,000.

Mr N, Electrician

Mr N from South Shields claimed compensation from Tyneside Council. Mr N was employed by the Council as an electrician. He developed mesothelioma due to his work on public buildings containing asbestos during the 1970s and 1980s.

Mrs M, Spinner

The family of Mrs M from Lancashire claimed compensation following the death of their mother from mesothelioma. Mrs M worked at Turner Brothers in Rochdale and Hindley Green where she spun asbestos fibres for many years from when she left school at the age of 15yrs.

Mr A, Labourer

Mr A from County Durham developed mesothelioma following his work during the 1950s as a labourer for British Rail. He inhaled asbestos dust and fibres when he mixed asbestos with water to form an insulation which was applied to steam engines.

Mr T, Metal Work Teacher

Mr T from Northampton was a metal work teacher in secondary schools for many years; a job he loved. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma after retirement. He recalled his exposure to asbestos dust when he used brazing hearths with asbestos bases when soldering during lessons and sections of asbestos mesh when he taught jewellery making.

Mr S, Engineer and Plumber

Mr S was sadly diagnosed with mesothelioma. Prior to his diagnosis he was the sole carer for his wife who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. Mrs S required round the clock care and following Mr S’s diagnosis the decision was taken by the family that her care would be best provided by professional carers. Mr S was exposed to asbestos through his employment as an engineer/plumber whilst working, for Laporte Chemicals. A claim for the professional care of the wife was included within the settlement.

Mr M, Joiner and Carpenter

Mr M originally instructed us in respect of a claim for asbestos related pleural thickening. During the course of his claim Mr M returned to hospital to undergo further scans and was sadly diagnosed with mesothelioma. Mr M worked as an apprentice joiner and carpenter. The case was vigorously defended and Court proceedings were issued in the Royal Courts of Justice using the Mesothelioma Fast Track procedure. A hearing was listed to take place London and the day before the hearing the Defendants agreed to settle the claim.

Mrs P, Caretaker

Mrs P developed mesothelioma as a result of her husband’s work as a care taker at a block of flats.  She would wash her husband’s overalls which were covered in asbestos dust every night following his return from work, therefore exposing her to asbestos “second hand”. She received compensation in the sum of £123,000.00. The case was strongly defended so we issued Court proceedings using the specialist Fast Track procedure in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Before a Trial date was set we successfully negotiated with the Defendants and achieved the substantial settlement.

Mr R, Mineworker

Mr R was a retired mineworker from Nottingham who developed mesothelioma as a result of his work with the NCB at Mansfield Colliery whilst working with asbestos brake linings and brake shoes. The case was strenuously defended by the NCB who argued that the date of the claimant’s exposure was at a time prior to when the NCB knew or should have known that asbestos could be dangerous to a person’s health and therefore that they were not at fault.  Consultant forensic engineering evidence was obtained by both parties and due to the claimant’s deteriorating condition video evidence was obtained from the Claimant.  The case was issued in the Royal Courts of Justice, London and came before the court on a number of occasions prior to the listed trial.  The case was listed for trial before a specialist category A judge the issues in the case being of public importance.  The case settled 1 day before it was due to be heard in the RCJ for a sum in excess of £200,000.

Mr T, Shipping Engineer

Mr T lived in Australia but had been exposed to asbestos many years before emigrating whilst working in the UK.  Mr T worked for a number of dry dock owners undertaking shipping repairers and engineering jobs.  He was exposed to asbestos whilst working on the engines, turbines, boilers, pipes and pumps on-board various ships. Sadly Mr T was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died very shortly after diagnosis whilst the case was progressing.  We continued to investigate the matter being instructed then by Mr T’s widow and next of kin.  Mrs T remained in Australia and we liaised with her and all associated organisations closely by way of email exchange.  The case was heavily defended on the issue of dependency and quantum and was listed for a full assessment of damages hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice in November 2012.  The matter came before the Court on 2 earlier occasions to address issues between the parties. Arrangements were made for his widow to give evidence to the court at the hearing by way of video link. We were able to negotiate a settlement for Mr T’s widow in the sum of £175,000 a matter of weeks before the assessment was scheduled to take place.

Mr T, Blacksmith and Labourer

Mr T had worked as a blacksmith and general labourer for the National Coal Board as well as for 3 other employers in or around the North East of England. He worked on steam engines carrying coal and fitting the fireboxes. Mr T developed mesothelioma in December 2011 and came to us in January 2012.  The claim was heavily defended by the NCB throughout.  We were able to trace some of his work colleagues who could confirm his exposure to asbestos. As a result we were able to negotiate with the Defendants for an interim payment in the sum of £50,000 and a final settlement in the sum of £160,000 in November 2012 without the need to issue court proceedings.

Mr D, Shipwright Carpenter

Mr D was a retired shipwright carpenter who had worked for many years for Cammel Lairds.  Mr D lived in Germany and was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.  He contacted the National Asbestos Helpline in the UK where his employment had taken place and we were able to conduct the case through email correspondence and telephone with the Claimant. We achieved an admission of breach of statutory duty from the Defendants without the need to issue proceedings and the case settled for a five figure sum following  negotiations with the Defendants insurers.

Mr C, Retired Bricklayer

Mr C, a retired bricklayer developed mesothelioma as a result of being required to repair and maintain steam boilers at the Shelton Bar Steelworks in Stoke on Trent during the course of his employment. Mr C was the sole carer for his wife. We were able to obtain for Mr C an interim payment in the sum of £50,000 together with an admission of breach of statutory duty from the Defendants within 3 months of receiving instructions and settled the claim for a sum in excess of £200,000 within 7 months of instruction.

Mark O’Neil, Bangor

Mark developed fatal lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos in the 1960s. He has finally received £160,000 in compensation in an out of court settlement.

Mark worked as a carpenter and builder for a brewery in East London in the early 1960’s. As part of his job, he was involved with insulating a basement with asbestos boards that had to be cut to size using a hand saw and drill. The atmosphere in the basement was very dusty and his hair and clothes would be covered in thick dust caused from cutting up the insulation boards. He and his colleague would work nine hour shifts breathing in the toxic air without any kind of protection or specialist respiratory equipment.”

The married victim first started noticing symptoms in April 2010 when he began suffering from shortness of breath. After visiting his GP, he underwent a number of tests including an x-ray of his chest and a CAT-scan before he was diagnosed with mesothelioma two months later.

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