We are pleased to report that we have recently recovered a large amount of asbestosis compensation for Mrs S, who sadly lost her husband to the condition in June 2018.
Read on to learn how her husband was exposed to asbestos and how we supported Mrs S throughout the claims process.
What is asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease which normally only develops after you have been exposed to a large amount of asbestos dust over many years. Sadly, there is no cure – if you have asbestosis then your lungs are permanently scarred. This scar tissue stops your lungs from expanding and contracting normally. Unfortunately, asbestosis can lead to damaged lungs and subsequent heart failure.
Often, people like Mr S, who develop asbestosis, have been unjustly exposed to asbestos throughout their working life. We help these people to claim compensation.
Exposed to asbestos as an apprentice
Before his death in June, Mr S told his family that he had regularly been exposed to asbestos when he worked as an apprentice for Edwin J Hassell Limited between approximately 1965 and 1969.
Mr S’s job was to install boilers and carry out commission work. He regularly worked near fitters who were removing asbestos lagging from boilers and pipes. In the 60s, asbestos lagging was frequently used as a form of heat insulation. As the lagging was removed large amounts of asbestos dust would be released into the working environment.
Mr S was often working in confined spaces with little or no ventilation. He could not help but breathe in the asbestos dust. Often, he would only be several feet away from the fitters as they stripped asbestos lagging. When the fitters stripped the lagging, dust would rise and cover the room, including his clothes, hair and skin.
Mr S was never given any protective equipment to wear whilst carrying out his job nor was he warned of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos.
Unfortunately, we could not pursue a claim against this first employer. This is because we were unable to locate employer’s liability insurance covering the time period that Mr S worked for the company.
Further workplace exposure
As well as the above employment, Mr S also worked for a company called Pinnock Brothers (Thatcham & Kintbury) Limited between approximately 1970 and 1990. He was employed as a boiler engineer, responsible for servicing, installing and maintaining boilers. This employment, once again, involved working in confined and unventilated boiler houses where asbestos was present. Mr S had to brush past or knock the asbestos lagging with his bare hands on a daily basis in order to gain access to the boilers he was servicing. This caused asbestos to rise into the air, which he inevitably inhaled.
Again, Mr S was never provided with any protective equipment by this company, nor was he warned about the dangers of asbestos exposure.
Initially, when we spoke to the coroner about this case they would not order a post mortem into Mr S’ death because they believed he had died of natural causes.
Unwilling to give up, we told Mrs S that a post mortem was vital if she wanted to make an asbestosis claim. Subsequently, the coroner ordered the post mortem to go ahead. The reports were clear – Mr S died from asbestosis, chronic heart disease, COPD, and bronchopneumonia.
Initially the company’s insurers disputed that the deceased’s death was caused by asbestosis, citing his other health problems as being the main cause. We used our knowledge as specialist asbestos disease solicitors to refer to previous court cases, including the case of Bonnington Castings v Wardlaw , and argued that the asbestosis had “materially contributed” to his death.
We successfully recovered £115,000 in compensation for Mr S’s wife only 6 months after her husband’s death. Whilst no amount of compensation can reimburse Mrs S for her loss, she was pleased that the insurers were held accountable following the devastating passing of her husband.
How can we help?
If we can help you with pursuing a claim for asbestosis compensation then please contact us today on our free telephone number 0800 039 6767. Alternatively, you can visit our ‘‘Contact Us’ page, complete the online form, and we will be in touch.