Asbestos Justice has recently settled a pleural thickening claim for Mr M following after he unfortunately received a diagnosis of asbestos related, diffuse pleural thickening during January of 2015.
Mr M is 77 years of age and had been suffering with a gradual deterioration in his breathing since November of 2014 and underwent a CT scan at hospital which confirmed his diagnosis. He was advised to seek compensation for his problem during January of 2015 and contacted Asbestos Justice in the February for advice and his claim for pleural thickening compensation was run on a no win, no fee basis.
Interestingly, Mr M’s medical records suggested that he had evidence of coming into contact with asbestos in the form of pleural plaques during 2012 but at that time, he was not suffering with any breathing problems. Such symptoms started to affect him towards the end of 2014.
The pleural thickening claim was successfully pursued against one company, namely The 600 Group PLC (formerly known as George Cohen & Sons Limited).
1955/56 to 1962/63 approximately
Our client worked on a full-time basis for a company called George Cohen & Sons Limited who had an office near to the Rotherhithe tunnel in the Bemondsey area of London. His usual hours of work were from 8:00am until 6:00pm, Monday to Friday, although during the summer he started earlier at 7:00am and continued working through until 6:00pm.
He always took a 10 minute break in the morning, the same length of break in the afternoon with a full hour for lunch. If the weather was ever poor on demolition work it was common for him and his colleagues to be sent home.
Our client was actually employed with the company as a labourer for approximately 7 years He can remember working for the company at various sites which always involved taking down gas works. He remembers working on the Mitcham gas works where the whole works had to be taken down. He also worked at the Robwrithe gas works, Beckton Northern Outfalls works and many others.
A regular part of his duties involved having to visit areas of the various sites in order to remove asbestos lagging from boilers and pipework as part of the demolition process carried out at the gas works. He worked in varied gang numbers but on the larger contracts there would be around 15 to 20 workers working together at any one time.
The asbestos lagging was white in colour with a black casing around it and this was held into place with chicken wire which surrounded the pipes and boilers our client worked on. Our client would say that the asbestos lagging measured around 4 inches in thickness and looked similar to a papier-mâché type material. Both he and his colleagues would have to remove the chicken wire in order to gain access to the lagging underneath. As he removed the wire and black casing some asbestos dust would be released into the atmosphere which he and others inhaled. It was often in a damaged and brittle state and looked very old.
He and his colleagues would then use pick axes, chisels and 14 and 28 pound hammers to smash up the asbestos lagging to be removed completely in order to gain access to the metal boilers and pipework. This was a regular part of his job. As they used the axes and others tools to chop through the asbestos lagging, much asbestos dust would be released into the atmosphere which he and his colleagues could not help but inhale.
The removal of the asbestos lagging could last anything from a full day up to a number of weeks depending on the size of the demolition projects at the gas works.
One of the largest demolition contracts he worked on for the company involved working at the Beckton Northern Outfalls where there were 6 large boilers present within in a large boiler house which measured about half the size of a football pitch. The boilers took up most of the height of the room and space and he remembers the asbestos removal work described in the above being carried out over a number of weeks on this contract.
If our client was not smashing through the asbestos, his colleagues would be near to where he was carrying out general demolition work and he therefore continued to breathe in the harmful asbestos fibres throughout the course of the working day. He therefore, also suffered passive asbestos exposure.
The asbestos dust covered his clothes, hair and skin and made him cough and sneeze on occasion. At times, when a number of his colleagues were carrying out the same type of work as him, the atmosphere would be completely thick with white asbestos dust. By the end of the working day, they would be covered from head to toe in the white asbestos dust such that they looked like snowmen. The asbestos dust would be visible in the air and floated around in the atmosphere throughout the course of the working day.
There were no laundry facilities on any of the sites he worked at. They wore the same dirty clothes throughout the week although they did change on site into clean clothing before leaving for the day. They would also go to the washrooms there to wash themselves as it would have been impossible to go back home in such a dust laden state.
Our client was never warned of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos materials when working for the company. He was never provided with any form of respiratory protection in the form of a mask during the course of this period of employment either. He was not made aware of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos.
Mr M’s pleural thickening led to him suffering with a restrictive defect on his lung function caused by his asbestos related pleural thickening as confirmed by the medical expert in his case who supported the pleural thickening claim. He classified Mr M as being 10% disabled on account of the respiratory problems caused by his pleural thickening.
Mr M understandably instructed Asbestos Justice to settle his claim on a provisional damages basis which allows for him to return to claim for asbestos compensation should he ever have the misfortune of developing other, more serious asbestos related conditions including asbestos related lung cancer and mesothelioma.
This pleural thickening claim was settled within a short timeframe of 5 months after Asbestos Justice received instructions and is another example of how swiftly pleural thickening claims can be settled by expert asbestos disease solicitors.
The Defendant agreed to pay £16,000.00 of pleural thickening compensation in the case and Mr M’s evidence will be kept on Asbestos Justice’s systems to assist other asbestos disease sufferers in the future.
Mr M was delighted with the service he received in his pleural thickening claim and now intends to use his pleural thickening compensation to assist him in moving home.
If you require assistance in pursuing a pleural thickening claim 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.