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At Asbestos Justice we are delighted to confirm that we have recently settled a complex asbestos related pleural thickening claim for Mr W who was diagnosed with the asbestos related condition after experiencing exposure to asbestos in the workplace.

1970 onwards for 5 years and 4 months approximately

Mr W was employed by the First Defendant, Birmetals Limited and suffered regular exposure to asbestos dust during the course of an electrical apprenticeship. The fact that he was never provided with any form of respiratory protection or warnings as to the dangers of working with asbestos, was relied upon as proof of negligence in support of his pleural thickening claim.

Negligent exposure and breach of statutory duty has been admitted by the First Defendant early in his pleural thickening claim.

1978/79 to 1987/88 approximately

Mr W was employed by British Rail (now known as the Department for Transport) as a traction electrician by reason of which he suffered regular exposure to asbestos dust.

Negligent exposure and breach of statutory duty was also admitted by the Second Defendant in his pleural thickening claim.

Detailed witness statements were taken in support of Mr W’s claim for asbestos compensation explaining in detail how he suffered his exposure to asbestos. He described, at times, being exposed to the most potent form of asbestos, in the form of blue asbestos fibre.

Not only was Mr W diagnosed with pleural thickening, but he was also treated for lung cancer back in 2013. He underwent lung resection surgery to help combat this serious condition and thankfully, affectively reached remission, post surgery.

Due to Mr W’s diagnosed cancer, we had to investigate whether this condition could also have been caused by his past history of heavy exposure to asbestos.

In order to establish blame in an asbestos related lung cancer claim, there is a need to prove that the sufferer was substantially exposed to airborne asbestos dust. Medical experts refer to what is known as the “Hesinki Criteria” to help them assess whether a person has sustained a sufficient dose of asbestos exposure to confer a risk of them developing asbestos related lung cancer.

Investigations into the extent of Mr W’s exposure to asbestos for the purposes of the potential asbestos related lung cancer claim did indeed show that he had suffered extensive exposure to asbestos, far in excess what was required to be satisfied under the “Heslinki Criteria”. Engineering evidence was obtained in support of the lung caner claim which confirmed the fact.

However, we also arranged for Mr W’s resected lung cancer to be examined by a histopathologist to assess whether he had sufficient asbestos bodies and/or fibres within the cancer to prove that this was asbestos related. The outcome of such investigations are usually more probative.

The medical investigations proved to be negative for asbestos related lung cancer under th said criteria and therefore Mr W was left to pursue his claim for pleural thickening compensation alone.

Medical Evidence

Supportive medical evidence was obtained in support of the pleural thickening claim, which showed that Mr W had developed asbestos related, diffuse pleural thickening, responsible for a 15% level of respiratory disability out of a total of 60%.

He was also said to face lifetime risks of his pleural thickening deteriorating, giving rise to increased breathing problems as well as a diagnosis of asbestos related mesothelioma, the incurable asbestos related cancer.

Settlement

Due to the overwhelming evidence in support of the pleural thickening claim, the Defendants agreed to settle Mr W’s claim by way of a provisional damages settlement pursuant to Section 32A of the Senior Courts Act 1981.

Asbestos Justice have recently prepared an article discussing the difference between asbestos claims settled on a provisional damages basis, as opposed to on a full and final basis.

By choosing to settle his claim under the terms of a provisional damages, asbestos claim settlement, Mr W would be able to return to claim further asbestos compensation should he develop future problems caused by his asbestos exposure including:-

  1. A significant deterioration of asbestos related diffuse pleural thickening giving rise to an additional respiratory disability of 20% or more;
  2. Development of asbestosis giving rise to an additional respiratory disability of 20% or more;
  3. Mesothelioma

We succeeded in recovering tens of thousands of pleural thickening compensation for Mr W as well as peace of mind. He now knows that if he has the misfortune of developing certain future problems, he will be able to return to us to claim further asbestos compensation on his behalf.

If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos claim then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.

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