Asbestos Justice settled a claim for Mr S who was sadly diagnosed with mesothelioma and has since tragically passed away due to the incurable condition.
Mr S was employed by Vacu-Lug Traction Tyres Limited between 1967 and 1976 as a driver’s mate and then as a driver on brake lining equipment in the lorries section of the business.
He worked on a daily basis in the factory, which housed a large number of steam pipes, most of which were lagged with asbestos. Many of the pipes were in a poor state of repair with lagging hanging off and deteriorating. These pipes often required repair. There were many pipes that needed maintaining and it was a frequent sight to see maintenance work being undertaken on them. Mr S was regularly near to maintenance workers who were removing asbestos from pipes. This maintenance work created a lot of dust and our client would walk through the dust and debris. From time to time our client would assist with sweeping up the factory.
In his witness statement Mr S confirmed that there were large curing chambers at the factory were the tyres were stored. The outside of the chambers were lagged with asbestos. Our client used to put the tyres in the curing chambers using a forklift truck. The outside of these chambers were badly damaged, from the forklift trucks colliding with the outside as workers moved the tyres into place. The asbestos on these chambers was in a poor state or repair and deteriorating badly. Repairs to the asbestos on these chambers were often undertaken.
Mr S advised that there was always dust lying around the tyres and inside the tyres. It is likely that some of this dust was asbestos dust from the brake linings of the wheels when they were removed.
At Asbestos Justice we have spoken to many asbestos disease sufferers who encountered exposure to asbestos dust when working with clutch and brake linings and who wished to pursue asbestos claims. This would only be possible where fresh exposure to asbestos occurred as when linings are exposed to high levels of heat, remarkably, the asbestos transforms into a non-potent material known as “forsterite” which is not considered to be harmful to health.
Clearly, in Mr S’s case, he had suffered various forms of exposure to asbestos which was shown to be very dusty work. He would take his overalls home for his wife to wash, and she would have to shake off the dust before washing them.
He was never provided with any mask to wear by his employer throughout his period of work.
He also suffered exposure to asbestos with another company called Aveling-Barford Limited which was acquired by Wordsworth Holdings Plc.
Mr S suffered exposure to asbestos with this company between 1976 and 1980 as a crane driver for two years and then as a fettler and shotblaster. This company made dump trucks.
Our client explained that it was very dusty within the cabs of the cranes. There was a box-shaped construction in the cab called the arcshield. They were made of asbestos. They would shed particles of asbestos dust, as when the electrical surge was welling through, the contact between the metal and asbestos caused the asbestos to break down. This dust would lie on the controls in the cab. These arcshields were repaired at lunchtime, when maintenance workers would go into the cab and remove the covers of the controllers and fit and repair any new contacts and repair the arcshield. All of this work would have created asbestos dust which would have remained in the cab that our client worked in.
There was no requirement in law to sue the second company who exposed Mr S to asbestos in his mesothelioma claim. This is due to the fact that mesothelioma is treated as an “indivisible condition” in law. This means that it is impossible for medical experts to identify which fibre of asbestos caused the cancer to develop in later life. As a result, following the passing of the Compensation Act of 2006, Claimants need only establish blame against one party who exposed them to asbestos in order to recover 100% of their mesothelioma compensation.
This is different to other asbestos claims for say, asbestosis and pleural thickening which are seen as “divisible” asbestos related conditions, meaning that all parties who exposed the sufferer to asbestos have to be pursued successfully to ensure recovery of asbestos compensation on a 100% basis.
We were able to recover £180,000.00 of mesothelioma compensation for Mr S following his diagnosis.
If you require assistance in pursuing a claim for mesothelioma compensation 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. You will be guaranteed to keep 100% of any mesothelioma compensation awarded.