All Posts in Category: Recent Cases

Asbestos Remover To Receive Compensation Following Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Our solicitors were instructed by Mr G following his diagnosis of asbestos induced lung cancer.

Mr G was employed by Frost Asbestos Limited to carry out asbestos stripping works in various places to include power stations and factories.

Asbestos was previously used in industrial settings to insulate high pressure steam pipes.  This asbestos would often become old and cracked meaning it had to be replaced.  The replacement of the lagging involved workers such as Mr G using hammers, hack saws, wire brushes and even axes to chop away at the old asbestos lagging causing it to fall away.  This work exposed Mr G to copious amounts of asbestos dust.  It was this asbestos exposure that led to Mr G to suffer from asbestos induced lung cancer.

Our Specialist Industrial Disease Solicitor took detailed statements from Mr G and his ex-colleagues and used this evidence in order to pursue a claim against Mr G’s previous employer.

We also assisted Mr G in applying for government benefits which he was entitled to, namely Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and a lump sum payment under the Pneumoconiosis (Etc) (Workers Compensation) Act 1979.

Sadly Mr G passed away as a result of his disease before his claim had been settled.  Boyes Turner continued to fight for justice for Mr G on behalf of his Estate.

Initially the defendants refused to negotiate a settlement of the claim and denied liability for Mr G’s injuries.

After lengthy legal arguments and the disclosure of detailed engineer’s reports compiled by specialists instructed by us the Defendant eventually entered in to settlement negotiations with Mr G’s Estate and agreed to pay compensation for Mr G’s injuries and losses.

Mr G’s Estate has thanked us for their friendly yet professional advice and assistance in pursing this claim and for not losing faith in achieving a successful outcome on Mr G’s behalf.

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Settlement For Pleural Thickening Diagnosis

I was instructed by Mr Bevan who had been diagnosed with pleural thickening.

Mr Bevan left school at the age of 15 and, after undertaking an apprenticeship, he qualified as an electrician.

He went to work for a company called Air Control Installations which was a large ventilation company.   He worked on ventilation duct work, sealing the joints using asbestos rope.   He worked in various large factories fitting the ventilation duct work.  Every joint was sealed using asbestos rope.  He also had to help pipefitters remove old pipework which was lagged with asbestos.  He worked in and around workmen who were mixing up new asbestos lagging and applying it.

He later worked for Carrier-Ross Engineering Limited.  Again he was fitting the ventilation systems and using asbestos rope as a sealant.  He also fitted asbestos rope between the asbestos tiles lining the ceilings of various buildings.

Mr Bevan developed breathing difficulties.  He underwent an x-ray during an admission to hospital and it was discovered that the lining of his lungs had been affected by the asbestos, and he was suffering from pleural thickening.

On the instructions of Mr Bevan I brought an action against his two former employers.  They strenuously fought the claim after Court proceedings were issued against them.  The matter proceeded for some time and eventually settled two days before a Trial which was due to take place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.   Mr Bevan was pleased with the outcome of his settlement.

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Successful Outcome For Mesothelioma Sufferer’s Family

We have been instructed by Mrs H, a daughter and executrix of the estate of Mr R who sadly died of mesothelioma.

Exposure to asbestos

Mr R was a pipefitter/maintenance engineer and was exposed to high levels of asbestos during his career. He was exposed to asbestos by four different employers. He had to cut and remove old pipes which needed to be repaired which were covered with asbestos lagging. He used a handsaw and this created a lot of dust. He would do all the clearing up afterwards which involved sweeping the factory floor which was covered with asbestos creating clouds of dust.

Mr R was not provided with any adequate breathing apparatus or any other form of personal protective equipment to protect him from asbestos dust. He was also required to repair leaking steam and water pipes. Sometimes he prepared asbestos lagging himself by mixing the asbestos in a bucket with water and then applying the asbestos lagging to the new pipes. He also used asbestos string on bolts which were attached to the pipes.

Investigation of the claim

Mr R sadly died within one month of his diagnosis of mesothelioma. We have managed to trace the employer’s liability insurers and have managed to obtain early admission of liability from the Defendants and have secured an early interim payment for the client in the sum of £50,000.00. The matter settled out of court in excess of £130,000.00 gross.

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Provisional Damages Order Obtained For Sufferer Of Pleural Thickening To Guard Against Development Of Future Asbestos Related Disease

Mr A became unwell and developed pleural thickening as a result of exposure to asbestos. Mr A had been exposed to asbestos during his employment with a number of different employers but unfortunately, the companies are now all dissolved.

In cases involving exposure with now dissolved companies, a claim can still be pursued if employers liability insurers covering the period of exposure can be traced.

Extensive investigations were undertaken to try and locate insurers and an insurer for a small period of employment was traced in respect of Mr A’s employment with Essen Steels Limited.

Pleural thickening is what is known as a dose related disease which means that each individual employer is only responsible for a claim in so far as they exposed the Claimant to asbestos. The apportionment between employers is calculated either on a time exposed basis or by obtaining specialist evidence from an engineer as to the levels of exposure.

As the insurers traced covered only a very small period of exposure, their monetary contribution to this claim was minimal. However, a settlement was negotiated which enabled a provisional damages order to be put into place for Mr A’s benefit. This order enables Mr A to return to the insurer for compensation if he develops a more serious asbestos-related disease.

Mr A was also assisted in claiming benefits in respect of his pleural thickening.

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Lung Cancer Claim Settled For Widow Of Former Joiner

We were instructed on behalf of Malcolm Jones following his diagnosis of asbestosis.  During the course of our instructions Mr Jones also developed asbestos related lung cancer and sadly died as a result of his condition.   We continued the claim on behalf of his widow, Judith Jones.

Mr Jones had a long and complicated employment history with a number of different companies.  Based upon his description of his exposure to asbestos, claims were investigated against the following companies:

  • The Unit Construction Company Limited – now Beazer Homes Reigate Limited
  • Costains (Liverpool) Limited – now R Costain & Sons Limited
  • Wm Thornton & Son Limited
  • George Wimpey & Co Limited – now Carillion Construction (Contracts) Limited
  • Sir Alfred McAlpine & Son Limited – now Carillion Capital Projects Limited
  • William Moss & Sons Limited – now The William Moss Group Limited
  • County Borough of Wigan – now Wigan Metropolitan Borough
  • Holland Hannen & Cubitts (North West) Limited – now Roundway (HHC) Limited
  • Manchester Corporation – now Manchester City Council
  • Bovis Construction Limited – now Lend Lease Construction (EMEA) Limited
  • Broseley Estates Limited – now Ideal Homes North West Limited
  • F & F S White Limited – now White Building Services Limited

The Deceased described that he was exposed to asbestos dust between 1960 and 1987 by the above named companies and allegations were made against them.  Mr Jones described that he was exposed to asbestos whilst working in construction and/or refurbishment of public buildings, schools, public housing, universities and hospitals.  He undertook a lot of work involving asbestos soffits, asbestos false ceilings and asbestos fascias, cladding joints with asbestos and insulating cupboards with asbestos.  He also worked with asbestos tiles, flat and corrugated asbestos sheets and would rip out old asbestos sheeting with a hammer and replace it with new asbestos sheeting in walls, roofs and ceilings.  He alleged that the work he undertook involved significant exposure to asbestos dust.

When Mr Jones sadly passed away as a result of his asbestos diseases, the coroner was involved due to the industrial nature of his death.  A post mortem was undertaken and significant levels of asbestos fibres in excess of those associated with asbestos related lung cancer and asbestosis were identified at the post mortem.

Mrs Jones proceeded with her husband’s claim following his death and negotiations took place with the above-named employers.

Due to the fact that some insurers could not be identified, Mrs Jones was unable to recover all of her compensation.  This is because he suffered with divisible diseases.  This means that in order to recover all of his compensation, he had to identify all of those employers who exposed him to asbestos dust and somebody to pay compensation on behalf of each of those employers.  Where insurers could not be identified then these contributions to his exposure to asbestos dust could not be recovered.

A gross settlement of £140,000 was agreed following receipt of expert medical evidence.

Mr Jones had not long retired when he sadly passed away.  Mrs Jones will now use the compensation to complete all of those jobs around the house that she and her husband had saved up for when he retired.

We were pleased to reach a settlement on behalf of Mrs Jones and her family.

Asbestos related lung cancer is a devastating condition.  Lung cancer can be attributed to exposure to asbestos even where the victim was also a smoker, as was the case with Mr Jones’ claim.  If someone has been exposed to asbestos and is diagnosed with lung cancer they may be able to pursue a claim for compensation depending upon the level of exposure to asbestos dust.  As a general rule, the higher the level of exposure, the more likely that a link between lung cancer and asbestos exposure can be established.

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£50,000 Settlement For Carpenter Diagnosed With Lung Cancer

Successful claim settled on behalf of the family of former employee of Wates Construction Limited.

Mr C developed lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos during his employment with the company formerly known as Wates Construction Limited.

Mr C worked for Wates Construction Limited from 1965/66 to 1970.  He was employed as a carpenter but worked in amongst a number of tradesmen.

Mr C’s employment meant that he had to work with Asbestolux including cutting and fitting the material. This caused him to be exposed to asbestos dust throughout his working day.  He also undertook work fixing asbestos panels and cutting through asbestos fire doors.

Mr C was diagnosed with lung cancer and suffered significant problems with his breathing up until his death. A claim was made on behalf of his Estate and settlement has now been agreed in the sum of £50,000 gross for the benefit of his family.

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Family Of Metallurgist Who Died From Mesothelioma Receives Compensation

We were instructed by Mr G following his diagnosis of mesothelioma, an asbestos related disease.  Sadly Mr G passed away in 2014 as a result of his condition, but the claim continued on behalf of Mr G’s estate.

Mr G’s employment history

Mr G trained was employed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) in Aldermaston between 1959 and 1992.

Mr G started his career at the UKAEA as a building manager specialising in metallurgy.  By 1978 Mr G had progressed to become the superintendent of operations for metallurgy and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1985.

Mr G’s asbestos exposure

During Mr G’s employment at the UKAEA he was exposed to asbestos fibres on a regular basis when maintenance men carried our routine maintenance and repairs on pipes lagged with asbestos and when they were removing and replacing asbestos ceiling tiles and asbestos boards.

Mr G’s employer did not take any steps to prevent him from being exposed to asbestos or provide any personal protective equipment to Mr G to prevent him from inhaling the deadly asbestos fibres.

Mr G’s claim

Our specialist industrial disease solicitors attended Mr G’s home and took a detailed statement from him regarding his employment history.

A detailed letter of claim was then sent to the UKAEA setting out allegations of negligence and asking for an admission of liability to be provided immediately.

Sadly the Defendant would not admit liability and even went as far as requesting proof that Mr G was ever employed at the UKAEA, this was despite the fact that Mr G was a superintendent at the UKAEA and that he had been awarded an OBE for his work at the Defendants premises.

Eventually the Defendant admitted liability for Mr G’s mesothelioma shortly before proceedings were to be issued in the Royal Courts of Justice.

It was agreed that Mr G’s estate would receive £167,000 gross in full and final settlement of the claim.

Unfortunately Mr G did not survive to see Defendants admission of liability or the settlement of the claim.

We were proud to assist Mr G and his family in obtaining justice in this matter.

 

 

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Successful Diffuse Pleural Thickening Claim Against R A Brand & Ci Limited & Brand Coatings Limited

Our specialist asbestos claims lawyers were instructed by Mr A who developed diffuse pleural thickening as a result of exposure to asbestos during his employment by R A Brand & Co Limited and Brand Coatings Limited.

Mr A was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres when he was employed as a sprayer by R A Brand & Co Limited and Brand Coatings Limited between 1966 and 1970.  His job involved spraying a plastic coating on walls and ceilings to make them partially waterproof, so that they could be wiped down.

Mr A had to spray suspended ceilings, which were made from asbestos sheets or asbestos tiles, and before he was able to spray the asbestos sheets or asbestos tiles he had to rub them down with sandpaper, so that the plastic coating would adhere to the asbestos sheets and asbestos tiles. Dust was generated when Mr A rubbed down the asbestos sheets and asbestos tiles.  As he was working directly above his head, the dust came down onto his hair, face, hands and clothing and he could not help but inhale some of the dust that was generated.

Mr A used an air gun to blow away any dust which had gathered on the asbestos sheets or asbestos tiles and this had the effect of further disturbing the dust and throwing it into the atmosphere. Mr A could not help breathing in some of the dust which was generated by this process.

Once Mr A had rubbed down the asbestos sheets and asbestos tiles, he had to sweep up the dust which had gathered on the floor.  Mr A did this using a dust pan and brush or a broom. This had the effect of throwing the dust into the atmosphere again.

In addition to rubbing down asbestos sheets and tiles in ceilings, Mr A also had to rub down walls which were to be sprayed.  The majority of these walls were plastered but some of the walls contained asbestos sheets.  Dust was generated when Mr A rubbed down the walls which contained asbestos sheets.

On occasions Mr A worked in proximity to other tradesmen who were working with asbestos materials.  For example Mr A sometimes worked around joiners who were installing suspended ceilings using asbestos sheets and asbestos tiles. The joiners had to cut the asbestos sheets and asbestos tiles in order to install them and dust was generated when the joiners cut the asbestos sheets and asbestos tiles in order to install them.

Some years after his retirement, Mr A fell ill and was diagnosed with diffuse pleural thickening.  He underwent a pleural aspiration and a thoracoscopy.

Expert medical evidence was obtained.

The claim was concluded on a provisional damages basis in July 2015 for the sum of £34,113.53.  As the claim has been concluded on a provisional damages basis, Mr A is entitled to seek further damages if at a future date he develops a more serious asbestos related disease or if he develops increased disability as a result of his diffuse pleural thickening.

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Successful Asbestosis Claim Settled Against Department For Transport

Mr M developed asbestosis as a result of exposure to asbestos during his employment with British Rail.

Mr M started work with Great Western Rail in 1943 at the age of 15 and remained with them when it was privatised to become British Rail. He remained employed in a number of different roles until 1990.

Mr M undertook work in and around asbestos and therefore was exposed to asbestos during the course of his employment.

A number of years after his retirement Mr M fell ill and was diagnosed with asbestosis.

A claim was made against British Rail and settlement has now been agreed in the sum of £35,000 gross. The settlement of the claim has been achieved within 12 months of instructions being received from Mr M.

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Widow Receives Gross Award of £60,000 for Husband Who Died of Asbestosis

We acted for Barry who contacted us in early 2014.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2013, following which he had radiotherapy.  A biopsy was never performed during his life time because he suffered with other conditions (namely Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Spondylitis).   He could only walk a few yards once he was diagnosed and could not do any strenuous activity.

We instructed a respiratory physician to prepare a report on his condition and the expert confirmed that Barry was suffering from lung cancer and that on the balance of probabilities, the lung cancer was asbestos related.

Wescol Construction Company Limited/Wescol Construction (Yorks) Limited

Barry came into contact with his asbestos during his time with Wescol Construction Co Limited/Wescol Construction (Yorks) Limited.  He started as an apprentice joiner and the business was the manufacture of the sale of garages which were made of asbestos sheeting.  Asbestos sheets were used and then fitted on to wooden frames.  The Company premises were in a disused quarry.  Barry reported that hundreds of asbestos sheets were brought to the quarry by lorry.  It was his job to saw the asbestos sheets to size depending on the size of the garage being constructed.  He sawed the sheets for most of the day and this created clouds of dust which got in his clothes, hands, and face.  Even if he was not sawing the sheets himself, he was often in the vicinity of the other apprentices and the joiners who were also sawing the sheets.  He did this work for an 18 month period between or around 1953 to 1956.

Demolition Work

Barry then moved to demolition duties for the same Company.  This involved demolishing old Army camps.  The main demolition tool was a ball and chain machine.  When he came across asbestos, he separated asbestos debris from pipe work, (much of which was lagged with asbestos).  He had to sought the pipe work by hand and load it back on to the lorries.  He was regularly breaking up asbestos materials during the demolition work as many of the buildings contained asbestos such as asbestos corrugated roofing sheets.  This was dusty work.

He returned to Wescol for a few months in 1965/65, doing exactly the same job as previously, cutting asbestos sheets by handsaw and doing demolition work which involved the separation of asbestos debris from materials that were salvageable.

He then returned to Wescol in 1979 and worked there until he retired from a back injury in December 1987.  He told us that he came into asbestos during his time at Wescol until at least 1985 when he went into the paint spraying section of the Company.

Smoker

Barry  like many others, used to smoke from his mid 20s.  He started on roll up cigarettes, but soon switched to a pipe.  He did not consider himself to be a heavy smoker.

No Trace of Lung Cancer

Barry’s condition worsened and he died in July 2014.  The post-mortem could not find any trace of a lung tumour, but did report asbestosis.  We had the post-mortem, of course, examined by our medical expert, together with the updated medical records, test results and scans.  Our expert agreed with the post-mortem that there was no evidence of lung cancer by the time of the post-mortem.  It was possible that the radiotherapy had eradicated all symptoms of the tumour.  Our expert agreed with the pathologist that Barry had been suffering with asbestosis and he believed symptoms of asbestosis began in or around 1999.

Application for Industrial Injury Disability Benefit Turned Down

Although Barry was never diagnosed with asbestosis during his lifetime, as he was short of breath, he masde a claim for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.  He made the Application in the 1980s and this was turned down.  We applied for the file of papers from the relevant Social Security office to examine the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit papers.  Within the papers, there were helpful comments, statements and letters from previous colleagues who had also worked at Wescol confirming that Barry had been exposed to asbestos.

Settlement

The two Wescol entities were dissolved companies.  This meant that we needed to trace the employers’ liability insurers from 1953 until the asbestos exposure ended in approximately 1985.  Employers’ liability insurance was only compulsory from 1972 onwards.  There was also no requirement on insurers at that time to keep records of their insurers.  We managed to trace insurers for the later period of employment and Barry’s wife received a gross award of £60,000.

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