We’ve achieved justice in a pleural thickening claim against the Ministry of Defence.

We are very pleased to confirm that we have recovered compensation in a pleural thickening claim for Mr C – less than 12 months after he contacted us. You can read all about the case below.

What is pleural thickening?

Pleural thickening is the thickening, calcification, or scarring of the lining of the lung (the pleura). It can develop on one or both lungs. If pleural thickening develops on both lungs it is called ‘diffuse pleural thickening.’ Primarily, it causes the lung tissue to harden which prevents the lungs from working properly. Ultimately, this causes breathlessness and a range of other symptoms. For more information visit our pleural thickening compensation page.

Mr C’s Symptoms:

In 2015, Mr C noticed that he was becoming more breathless, particularly when he exerted himself. After visiting the doctor he was initially told that he had traces of asbestos on his lungs. However, they also said that his condition was not active.

Subsequently, he was told that he had pleural thickening, pleural plaques, and a moderately sized pleural effusion affecting his right lung. This meant that fluid had built up around the base of this lung, causing further breathing problems.

Mr C also unintentionally lost 2 stone in weight. There was some concern that he could be suffering from asbestos-related cancer.

Mr C’s treatment:

Mr C underwent a procedure to extract fluid from the lining of his lung, known as the pleura. This fluid was then tested and thankfully returned negative for malignancy.

He also underwent a pleural biopsy procedure during 2016, which did not reveal any cancer. However, pleural thickening and the effusion was evident on his x-rays and scans. This was thought to be asbestos-related.

Mr C was exposed to asbestos without protection:

A statement confirmed that Mr C had worked for the Ministry of Defence as a machinist at their Portsmouth Dock Yard. He was employed in a machine shop, known to him and his colleagues as ‘Number 3 Weapon Shop.’

For 7 years, one of Mr C’s main jobs was to regularly cut up asbestos sheets on a band saw. Mr C explained in his statement that he would cut up asbestos sheeting which measured 8 feet by 4 feet. This was then fitted into place on electronic boards, which would later be fitted onto the ships and boats at the dockyard.

A lot of asbestos dust was released into the general atmosphere as Mr C and his colleagues worked. Unfortunately, this meant that they inhaled this dust throughout the course of their working day. Clouds of asbestos dust was created whenever they used the band saw to cut through the asbestos sheets, which were extremely fibrous. The asbestos was white to grey in colour and covered Mr C’s work clothes, hair and skin. The asbestos dust was clear to see when Mr C and his colleagues carried out this work. The workshop was always dusty throughout the 7 years that Mr C worked there, with much of the dust coming from the asbestos sheets.

Further asbestos dust would be released into the atmosphere when Mr C and his colleagues drilled holes into the asbestos sheets to fit them onto the electronic boards. This was something that Mr C did regularly as part of his duties within the shop.

The Negligence:

Mr C was never warned of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos dust, and was never provided with any form of breathing protection. His employer, the Ministry of Defence, never took any precautions to lower the effects of asbestos dust, and there was little to no extraction within the shop that he worked at.

We relied upon this evidence as proof that the Ministry of Defence were negligent and breached their statutory duty.

Mr C instructed us to settle his claim on a provisional damages basis. This leaves the door open for him to claim further asbestos compensation, should his health deteriorate in the future. This gives him the peace of mind of knowing that further help is at hand, should it be required.

How can we help?

If you require assistance in pursuing a pleural thickening claim, or a claim for another other asbestos-related disease, please contact us today. You can do so by calling our freephone number on 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘contact us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.

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