In any mesothelioma claim it is vital to secure as much evidence as possible, covering how the sufferer came to be exposed to asbestos.
In June of 2015, a man died from the incurable asbestos related cancer after it was thought that he suffered exposure to asbestos dust as a result of birds pecking a roof at his place of work over a period of 13 years.
Anthony Jones from Frampton on Severn in Gloucestershire was only 57 years of age when he passed from the condition which is only thought to be connected to asbestos exposure.
At the inquest procedure, senior coroner Katy Skerrett concluded that Mr Jones had passed due to an industrial disease. The coroner’s role at an inquest is to reach a conclusion on why the person died, what they passed due to and where they died. The procedure does not involve attributing blame to a third party such as an employer of the deceased. This is the role of specialist industrial disease solicitors like our team at Asbestos Justice.
At Mr Jones’ inquest, the coroner learnt that Mr Jones had explained in a statement before he sadly passed that he had never knowingly worked with or near to asbestos. The only known source of his exposure to asbestos came from birds pecking at an old roof at a cash and carry where he worked from 1972 to 1985 approximately.
The coroner explained that this was not the type of employment where one would not expect to be exposed to asbestos but did find that there was sufficient evidence of probable exposure so that she was able to reach a verdict of death due to an industrial disease, that being, asbestos related mesothelioma. The coroner acknowledged that Mr Jones could not recall directly how he was exposed to asbestos but she reached the conclusion that he seemed to have suffered, indirect, less obvious exposure.
Following the inquest, Mr Jones’ sister spoke of her brother: “He was going in and out of the building all the time because he would load goods up for customers and wheel them out to their vehicles. All the time this dust was floating down on him and it looks as if that is the reason he got this terrible disease years later.”
Such evidence may not be sufficient to prove blame in a mesothelioma claim on its own. In difficult cases of this type it is common to obtain engineering evidence to assist in proving the likelihood of asbestos being present within a working environment.
In Mr Jones’ case, the fact that a high level of asbestos fibres was found during the post mortem carried out following his sad passing, provided persuasive evidence that he had been occupationally exposed to asbestos.
This coupled with the fact that he was aware that there was a problem with the asbestos roof at his former workplace suggested that he may have suffered harmful amounts of exposure to airborne asbestos dust.
In order to prove liability in a mesothelioma claim, sufferers have to show on the balance of probabilities that they suffered exposure with a pursued Defendant which materially contributed to the risk of them developing the condition. Without witness evidence confirming exposure to asbestos, a claim for mesothelioma compensation will prove difficult if not impossible to win. Claims of this type cannot be proven on the basis of supposition or speculation relating to potential asbestos exposure.
At Asbestos Justice, we have represented many sufferers of asbestos related illnesses who initially, cannot recall how they suffered exposure to asbestos but after taking detailed information on their work histories, sufferers often recall information relating to sources of asbestos exposure. It is those like Mr Jones, who did not work directly with the material who often struggle to recall specific examples of exposure to asbestos. After making enquiries with others who worked alongside sufferers, witness evidence can be obtained, covering asbestos exposure in the working environment which can then be used to support a claim for mesothelioma compensation.
If you require assistance in pursuing a claim for mesothelioma compensation or believe you have any other valid asbestos 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.