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Asbestos Justice has recovered mesothelioma compensation for Mr W who was diagnosed with the incurable asbestos related cancer after undergoing a pleural biopsy procedure at hospital.

Biopsy procedures are often carried out in order to provide a more definitive diagnosis for patients as mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose, being often mistaken for lung cancer which can in itself be caused by asbestos exposure.

Detailed evidence on exposure to asbestos was obtained from our client during life in support of his asbestos claim.

Mr W was employed by Holiday & Greenwood Ltd as a carpeter and joiner, commencing work in 1956. About half way through his apprentice, in about 1959, this company was bought out by Higgs & Hill Ltd, and became a subsidiary of that company. The name Holiday & Greenwood Ltd was retained up until about 1969, after which the name Higgs & Hill Ltd was used.

In the course of his employment with Holiday & Greenwood he came into contact with substantial amounts of asbestos. Our client worked at many different sites, where he was involved in refurbishing old buildings such as hospitals, churches and public buildings.

Our client remembers working at Shinner’s Department Store in Hutton, when the building was being refurbished. Our client was present in the building when it was gutted so that just the shell remained. Other workmen pulled out the old pipework and smashed all the asbestos lagging off the pipes. The dust from the lagging got everywhere. Our client was within feet of where the lagging was being removed. Our client removed the fireproof casings around the service pipes. He removed these using a hammer or crowbar to smash it off. This created significant amounts of asbestos in the air which would cover our client. After the building at Shinner’s had been gutted out, our client worked on refurbishing it. Our client was responsible for the joinery in the building. All of the service pipes at the building had to be encased in asbestos sheets for fire protection purposes. Our client had to cut the asbestos sheets, which came in sizes of eight foot by four foot, to size. He used a handsaw or an electric saw to do this. He would spend whole days just cutting up the sheets, which created a tremendous amount of asbestos dust. Our client then had to then drill the asbestos pieces and then screw them to fixing battons to form the casing. That too caused a lot of asbestos dust to be created.

Mr W described that, on occasions when he was working at Shinner’s he was present in the basement whilst the pipes were being lagged. The laggers applied the asbestos, which was mixed in a bucket, and was applied wet. At times our client was very close to the laggers when they were carrying out the work. The laggers poured the asbestos powder from paper sacks into buckets of water and then mixed it with a stick. As it was poured, the asbestos powder was raised into the air.

Other jobs that our client did which brought him into contact with asbestos included fitting asbestos sheets to escalators prior to them being installed. Again our client had to cut and drill asbestos sheets into place, and a lot of dust was created by this. Our client worked doing this at Arding & Hobbs Department Store at Clapham Junction, and he was doing this work for approximately one year. Another job where our client was brought into contact with asbestos involved installing partition walls in offices. One of the jobs where he did this was in an office block in Stag Square, Victoria.

Our client was also exposed to asbestos when he fitted “eternite” fire backing in domestic housing. He remembers doing this at a new housing project for Hamstead Housing in Hamsted and St John’s Woods. Our client had to cut the asbestos to fit the particular job and he did this using a saw, which was like a hacksaw. Again asbestos dust was raised into the atmosphere which our client breathed in.

The description of the working condition clearly showed that Mr W had been heavily exposed to asbestos dust when working for his employer and this supported the claim for mesothelioma compensation.

In this mesothelioma claim we obtained a detailed witness statement from our client as well as from one of his former work colleagues which also supported his own account.

If anyone has worked for Higgs & Hill Limited before and are worried that they may be suffering with an asbestos related condition, they should be advised that witness evidence has been obtained and retained, which provides a vivid description of the asbestos exposure experienced by workers during the 1950s and 60s.

If you require assistance in pursuing a claim for asbestos 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.

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