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Pleural Thickening Case Studies

Mr A, Painter and Decorator

Mr A was diagnosed with pleural thickening in February 2013. He contracted this asbestos related illness following his 25-year long employment at HM Dockyard Devonport.

The dockyard where Mr A worked was a huge complex containing many factory type buildings. Most of his working time was spent painting and decorating inside these factories which would inevitably involve painting the surfaces of asbestos lagged pipe work. Before the pipe work could be worked on Mr A would use a wire brush to prepare the surface of the asbestos lagged pipes ready for painting. As a result Mr A was exposed to asbestos dust.

The claim was settled on a provisional basis to the sum of £20,000. By settling on this basis the claimant will be entitled to return to Court for further compensation should his condition deteriorate or should he develop a more serious asbestos condition.

 

Mr Brown, Moulder

Mr Brown was diagnosed with asbestos pleural thickening in October 2010.  He was 71 years of age at that time.  He had been exposed to asbestos at the Fibrecrete Factory in Chalford, Stroud, Gloucestershire.  Fibrecrete manufactured asbestos products including sheets and downpipes.  At the beginning of his employment he was a light moulder, and he received wet asbestos sheets which he would cut using hand tools, and he would then craft them over moulds of ridge tiles.  He then trimmed around the moulds and placed them to dry.  The factory dealt exclusively with asbestos products.  The products would lie around the factory until dry, and the drying process would take about 12 hours.  He would collect the moulds and peel the dry asbestos material off the mould and used a sanding belt to clean all the edges.  The claimant was on a piece work as a team member and so was encouraged to do as much work as possible. 

Later on in his employment he was a heavy moulder, which involved removing huge sheets of asbestos from machines and moulding them into 3 and 6 inch moulds for corrugated sheeting.  Again he was working with wet asbestos moulding in a similar way but on larger and heavier products.  Mr Brown was also involved in a bizarre incident whereby blue asbestos was sprayed on ceilings in an effort to stop condensation forming.  It was thought that it would insulate the ceiling and thus prevent condensation but what actually happened was that shortly after application the asbestos started to break up on the ceiling and the workers below would get covered with lumps of blue asbestos fibre, rather than water droplets. 

Settlement was achieved in this case in May 2013 on a provisional damages basis.

Mr S, Plumber

Mr S was diagnosed with asbestos pleural thickening in 2009.  He had been exposed to asbestos during his 20 years employment as a plumber at a hospital. 

One of his main jobs was to make repairs the steam and pipework that went around the building.  The pipes would frequently leak due to their old age, and Mr S would have to remove the asbestos to undertake the repair.  He was also required to cut asbestos sheets to create gaskets for the calorifiers. 

Settlement was achieved on a provisional damages basis in 2012 for £35,000.

Mr D, Boiler Maker

Mr D was diagnosed with asbestos pleural thickening in December 2010.  He had been exposed to asbestos at British Rail at their site on Stafford Road in Wolverhampton (the western region) in the 1960s.  He worked as an apprentice boiler maker repairing and refurbishing boilers on the steam trains.  The boilers were different sizes weighing between 8 and 30 tonnes.  All of the boilers, from the fire box to the smoke box were lagged with asbestos. 

This was the age of steam trains and there was about 40 boiler makers working in the erecting unit, work was that plentiful.  The work required asbestos lagging to be removed and Mr D breathed in the asbestos dust.  Sacks of asbestos were used by the laggers, and mixed with water into a paste and very large amounts of asbestos dust were made airborne. 

Mr D elected for a provisional damages settlement and a settlement was achieved in 2012 in the sum of £35,000.

Mr V, Fitters Mate

Mr V, was diagnosed with pleural thickening in 2011. He had been employed at a hospital in London in the 1950s until he retired in 1994.  Initially he was employed as a fitters mate and he was exposed to asbestos from pipework running around the hospital.  Later he became a fitter and his exposure to asbestos lagging on the pipework continued. 

Mr V’s claim was settled in 2012 on a provisional damages basis.

Mr O, Maintenance Fitter

Mr O was diagnosed with pleural plaques and pleural thickening in December 2009.  The National Asbestos Helpline was approached in February 2012 and our solicitors pursued the case on behalf of Mr O. 

Mr O had been exposed to asbestos at the Ministry of Works from the 1950s through to 1953.  There were two sites at which he initially worked, the first being Northwick Park Gloucestershire and the second Springhill in Gloucestershire.  Both sites were post war refugee camps, predominantly for Eastern European Refugees.  The sites were run by the National Assistance Boards.  Mr O was employed as a mortar maintenance fitter at the site.  In or around 1960 Mr H was transferred to Morten in the Marsh, which was an old air field, although he continued to be employed by the Ministry of Works.  Morten in the Marsh was the National Fire Service headquarters and college, and it was situated on a wartime air field. 

Through his employment at the various sites, Mr O was exposed to asbestos from lagging on pipes and boilers.  He carried out repairs to the pipes and boilers and in order to be able to do this he had to remove the asbestos lagging.  He would use a chisel or hammer to chip away at the lagging and whilst he was doing a significant amount of asbestos dust was released. 

Mr O also worked on the boilers undertaking repairs, this involved removing the asbestos lagging which caused asbestos dust to be released. 

Mr O contacted the National Asbestos Helpline shortly before the expiry of limitation (the time period in which a claim must be pursued) and our solicitors had to act swiftly to issue court proceedings to protect the claimant’s position.  Settlement was achieved in the sum of £45,000 in April 2013.

Mr H, Boiler Maker

Mr H from Wolverhampton obtained compensation when he developed pleural thickening from his work as a boiler maker for British Rail during the 1950s and 1960s. He stripped off old asbestos insulation and was surrounded by laggers who worked with asbestos fibres in close proximity to him.

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