The legal team at Asbestos Justice have settled a case for a widow who lost her husband recently. He had been diagnosed with pleural thickening in his lifetime and whilst that did not lead to his death, compensation was claimed for the pain and suffering that he endured during his lifetime. The sum of £17,500 was recovered from the defendant.
The deceased had worked for Balfour Beatty as a cable jointer between approximately 1961 and 1965. During the course of his employment, the deceased worked at various power stations including Battersea, Woolwich, Northfleet and Richborough.Whilst working at the power stations the deceased was either working on the construction of new power stations, for example, Northfleet, or extensions or repair work to existing power stations.
Given the nature of his work, he regularly worked in close proximity to laggers whose job it was to apply asbestos lagging to the various pipes and cables around the power stations. The deceased recalled the laggers mixing powdered asbestos with water to form a paste which could then be applied to whatever required insulation.
As they did this, he said that clouds of asbestos dust would rise up into the air around where he was working. He described it as extremely dusty work. They would produce masses of the paste and apply it to the pipes in large amounts. It would be inches thick. Our client would either be working indoors or in areas which were only partly open to the outdoors. The asbestos dust was therefore hanging in the air constantly as he worked.
He was regularly exposed to asbestos because it was used so widely throughout the power stations and the electrical substations. Everything in the substations was insulated with asbestos.
Our deceased client generally wore his own clothes to work. He was provided with wellington boots and sometimes gloves but no overalls. By the end of each working day he would be covered in dust. This would be a mixture of dust but included asbestos dust. Sadly, he was only provided with a mask when he was grinding metal and so he was inevitably breathing in the asbestos on a constant basis.
We were initially instructed by the deceased himself but later his widow provided continuing instructions when he sadly passed away. He had begun to suffer with increasing shortness of breath and he had difficulties with mobility. Whilst no amount of compensation can make up for the problems her husband suffered, our client felt pleased that we had held the defendant to account.