In the maiden issue of Justice, we’re covering topics close to the heart of patients, family, friends and healthcare professionals alike.
We sincerely hope you enjoy reading a range of interesting, educational and enlightening articles, all of which link to asbestos disease and the core of those affected.
If you would like to share your story with us, or contribute towards our next issue of Justice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading and keep sharing!
Mrs C sadly developed mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos whilst washing her son’s contaminated work clothes.
Mrs C’s son worked for the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) at the Stella South and Blyth power stations. He was exposed to asbestos dust which contaminated his work clothes during the course of his work as a mechanical fitter between 1973 and 1978 approximately.
This case showed that the CEGB did not have any laundry facilities at the power stations where her son worked which could have limited her exposure.
The case shows that asbestos related illnesses can also affect family members of workers through secondary or passive exposure to asbestos.
There are numerous state benefits which you may be able to claim if your asbestos related disease was caused whilst in employment. Our trained experts can assist you every step of the way.
Call 0800 038 6767 for expert help & advice
If you are caring for someone who is suffering with an asbestos related disease, you may be entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance.
Who can claim?
You may be entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance if you are caring for an asbestos disease sufferer and you are:-
• Spending at least 35 hours a week caring for the person
• A resident in Great Britain and are aged over 16
• A person who has remained in the UK, Channel Islands,
Ireland or the Isle of Man for at least 2 of the last 3 years
• Not subject to immigration control
There are some exceptions to the criteria set out in the above if you are living in another European Member State country.
How much could I receive?
Up to £58.45 could be paid to you each week to assist you in caring for someone with substantial caring needs arising out of their diagnosed asbestos related condition. It is important to note that carer’s allowance is a taxable benefit and may affect the level of other benefits you receive.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) can be claimed when a disease such as Mesothelioma, diffuse pleural thickening or asbestosis, amongst others, has been caused during employment.
Who can claim?
A person exposed to asbestos in the workplace on or after 5th July 1948. The employment must have been in the UK and the person must have been liable to pay income tax.
How much could I receive?
The amount you receive depends on your age and how much your disease affects or disables you. You will be assessed by a doctor who will decide on the severity of your disability due to your disease.
Each month we’ll feature answers to questions aimed at leading asbestos experts.
Helena Cameron is the Associate Director of Asbestos Justice and has over 7 years experience handling civil asbestos claims.
Can I make a claim for my condition?
To assess whether you have a claim all we need is a few details about your condition and the circumstances of your asbestos exposure.
Will I have to pay to make a claim?
Our solicitors work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. If we lose, we do not charge you anything. At the outset of the case we take out an insurance policy on your behalf to protect you against any costs.
How long is my claim likely to take?
Every case is different and the length of time needed to bring a claim to a conclusion depends on a number of factors. We aim to settle cases in the shortest time possible and have on a number of occasions completed mesothelioma claims in just 60 days.
Will I have to go to court?
The vast majority of cases are settled outside of Court and so it is very unlikely that you would have to make a court appearance.
Have a question for Helena?
Call 0800 038 6767 or email email@example.com.
Asbestos Justice acted for Mr. C who had retired back to live in his native country, Italy. His son, who lived in the UK, assisted by helping to get information and instructions from his father. Mr. C. was exposed to asbestos at three different companies during his working life.
He was based at Willington Power Station in Derby and worked for J. Cochrane & Sons Ltd, R. B. Hilton Ltd and Darlington Insulation Co. Ltd. He was employed as a lagger working on the boilers. His role involved lagging and delagging on a daily basis. He was, therefore constantly exposed to asbestos dust and fibres.
He was required to remove the lagging from boilers in order for them to be maintained. This involved hacking the asbestos lagging off using a hammer and chisel or a mechanical chisel. This created enormous amounts of asbestos dust and fibres to be released into the air around him as he worked. He inevitably breathed in these deadly asbestos fibres.
Mr. C. also informed us that they would then mix powdered asbestos with water to make a cement-like mixture to reapply to the inside of the boilers.
He described this as an extremely dusty task. As he poured powdered asbestos into the buckets it would cloud up around him.
Mr. C. was also required to reapply the lagging to pipes. This involved firstly cutting pre-formed asbestos to fit over the pipes. He used a saw to do this which created a lot of asbestos dust and fibres to be released into the air around him. He would cover the pipes with the sections of asbestos and then cover this with a material that looked like fibre glass.
The final layer was the same asbestos mixture as described above.
Mr. C. was exposed to asbestos on a daily basis whilst working at the Power Station between approximately 1963 and 1971. He was not provided with a mask and inevitably breathed in substantial quantities of asbestos dust. As a result of his exposure, Mr. C. developed asbestos related pleural thickening.
Helping Mr C, Asbestos Justice successfully recovered £45,000 in compensation as well as securing the right to return to court should his condition deteriorate at a future date.
In 1874, a small district in Leeds saw the opening of its first large three-story factory on Canal Road, Armley. Hopes were high and employment was up. Yet the residents of Armley were none the wiser about the danger that loomed at the top of their roads. A danger that sprinkled its way onto the streets of Armley, the homes of families and into the lungs of the innocent.
J. W. Roberts operated as an asbestos mattress and boiler lining factory from 1874 to 1958. The mattresses were used for lining the bulkheads of ships as well as steam locomotive boilers. The production of insulation mattresses was a large culprit in the pollution of asbestos in Armley; they were made using crocidolite. This is the deadliest form of asbestos and can be identified by its blue colouring and fluffy exterior.
At its most successful period, the factory had employed 250 workers. However, the deadly effects of asbestos exposure began to show between 1931 and 1958. Some 270 workers were too ill to work due to an asbestos related disease and sadly 300 or more have died since.
It was and still is a devastating time for all those living in Armley.
Each issue will feature a clinical trials overview.
This month we are featuring the latest trial, MK-3475.
MK-3475 is an immune checkpoint blockade inhibitor that is currently in clinical trials in a variety of cancers across the globe.
It is known as a monoclonal antibody that neutralises the programmed death 1 (PD-1) protein, which is an element of tumours that enables them to evade their nemesis, the immune system.
This new class of drug has repeatedly exceeded historic benchmarks in terms of response rates and survival in melanoma.
Merck has completed enrolment in a phase 2 registration trial that will compare MK-3475 (2 doses) with chemotherapy in patients with advanced melanoma who have progressed after previous therapy.
A phase 3 registration trial comparing MK-3475 with ipilimumab in ipilimumab-naïve patients with advanced melanoma is ongoing.
The phase 1B overall survival data on MK-3475 in melanoma compare favourably with data from an early trial of another anti-PD1 agent, Nivolumab (Bristol-Myers Squibb).
Both MK-3475 and nivolumab are being investigated in a variety of other cancers, and have recently shown promising data in lung cancer.
Mavis Nye is one of the UK’s first patients to take part in the MK-3475 trial. Her results have also shown a positive response to the drug.
In 2009, Mavis was given 3 months to live but refuses to give up her fight with Mesothelioma. She was exposed to asbestos when washing her husband’s clothes after he returned home from work at Chatham Dockyard. Mavis is a meso warrior battling to speed up life-saving mesothelioma treatments.
I was trying to calm my nerves and get some sleep by 10.30pm. I had a bad night but I did wake up at 4am so hung on until 4.45am to finally get up and get ready for the journey to the Royal Marsden.
I saw the Doctor and he was well pleased with me for saying I felt so well and I’m getting more exercise.
‘Oh you haven’t been told about your scan results yet?’ Looking on the computer all my bloods were excellent, and my scan?
He stared close at the computer and read… “Shrinkage on all areas”.
My chest tumour has shrunk from 76-67mm and the other marker tumour 42-36mm. The mass at the bottom of my left lung has shrunk as well.
We all beamed and smiled and I said, ‘My Wonderdrug has worked hasn’t it?’
“Yes it has done well.’’
To read more, visit Mavis’ blog:
Professor Dean Fennell is a leading lung cancer specialist and Chair of Thoracic Medical Oncology at the University of Leicester’s Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine.
Professor Fennell is an expert in testing new treatments for people with mesothelioma and is currently leading the MK-3475 trial in the UK.
His clinical specialisation is in thoracic medical oncology and early clinical trials, particularly mesothelioma, with a particular interest in therapeutic targeting of the core apoptosis pathways. Professor Fennell leads a Cancer Research UK funded group with a laboratory focusing on apoptosis, drug resistance, and signature-based therapeutics using the connectivity map for accelerated, targeted drug discovery.
He is currently leading UK and international clinical trials of novel targeted therapies in Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma.
Contact Professor Fennel
Tel: 0116 252 5174
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, finding the right help can be difficult. We have compiled a list of some of the UK’s top treatment and trial centres for asbestos diseases.
Many have been recognised for their survival success rates and pioneering treatments, so you’ll always be in safe hands.
Debbie Brewer was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2006. She was exposed to asbestos as a child when she hugged her father on his return from work at Devonport Dockyard.
Despite her illness, Debbie tirelessly campaigned to raise awareness of lung cancer by asbestos, both in the UK and abroad. Sadly, she passed away at St Luke’s Hospice, Plymouth in June 2013.
Kieran Brewer, Debbie’s youngest son, shares his thoughts and feelings on asbestos use.
Asbestos has affected my life so much! My mum and granddad have passed away from Mesothelioma. It has made an overwhelming impact on my life and not in a good way, the word makes me cringe every time I hear or read it, it’s a terrible substance and to me it feels like the undefeated super villain who hatches plans to destroy people’s lives forever and turn them completely upside down!
I find it sad that so many other people have lost their loved ones because of it, but I’m even sadder that it took two of my loved ones from me and I pray that no more lives are taken from me as I’ve experienced too much heartbreak. In the future, to put it lightly, I WANT IT GONE! It’s horrible and I don’t care about the benefits of it with regards to work and jobs, it’s deadly and it’s just plain horrid.
What I really would like to see is a project which gets the lowdown on asbestos and urges people to stop working with it, without asbestos, I feel that the world would be that little bit more safer and secure. I believe that things like asbestos would make a stronger impact on society if it just went away.
Read Debbie’s story and her battle with mesothelioma at www.mesothelioma-and-me.com