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Case Studies

Asbestos case studies

 

Shipbuilding 

Mr D was diagnosed with asbestos related mesothelioma during 2007. He was exposed to asbestos when working for various companies in the shipbuilding industry, including Swan Hunter Plc, Vickers Armstrong (Shipbuilders) Limited between 1961 and 1986. He also came into contact with asbestos dust when working for Newalls Insulation and JD Insulation. He regularly had cause to cut up asbestos sheets and would also work next to others who had regular cause to removed asbestos lagging from pipe work.

The claim was successfully pursued against Swan Hunter Group Plc and Vickers during Mr D’s lifetime with the Defendants agreeing to pay tens of thousands of pounds in compensation. The case was run to a successful conclusion over a period of 8 months.

 

 

Ministry of Defence

Mr F was diagnosed with mesothelioma during May of 2007. He was exposed to asbestos when working for the Ministry of Defence in a civilian capacity at the Portsmouth Dockyard between 1957 and 1964. As our client’s exposure occurred prior to 1965, we had to establish that he was substantially exposed to asbestos in order to succeed in recovering compensation from the MOD.

He worked as an apprentice fitter and turner which brought him into regular contact with asbestos dust as a result of working next to laggers who were constantly applying and removing asbestos products onboard various ships in dry dock where he worked.

Our client received £90,000.00 in damages and the case settled within 5 months of our being instructed.

 

Engineering 

We dealt with an urgent mesothelioma claim for a 92 year old gentleman who was diagnosed with mesothelioma during June of 2007. He worked for the Defendant Company, Stein Atkinson Limited as a design engineer between 1944 and 1979. The company later traded under the name of Solios Thermal Limited.

His role within the company involved designing furnace equipment which would regularly have to be lined with asbestos materials in order to fireproof the furnaces. He was often nearby when the manual workers drilled and nailed the asbestos into place resulting in him coming into contact with asbestos dust on a regular basis. Whilst our client never worked directly with asbestos, he was exposed on a passive basis which led to him developing mesothelioma during later life.

The case settled during Mr S’s lifetime, having been run over a period of 5 months. Our client’s case was unusual as he survived with symptoms of mesothelioma for over 3 years before sadly passing away due to the condition.

 

 

Construction

We were instructed by a widow following the death of her husband who sadly passed away from the affects of asbestos related mesothelioma in December 2006.

Mr J was regularly exposed to asbestos when working at the Isle of Grain for George Wimpey between 1956 and 1978. He worked for the company as a welder and was often nearby when laggers had cause to remove asbestos from pipe work and boilers during maintenance periods.

Full details of Mr J’s past exposure to asbestos were obtained from a witness who worked for George Wimpey at the same time as him and the allegations made against the Defendant were borne out of this helpful evidence.

Mrs J’s case was settled within 5 months, securing the compensation she deserved following the sad loss of her husband.

 

 

Heating Engineering

We were instructed by the personal representative to the estate of Mr G, who sadly passed away from mesothelioma on 10th May 2006.

The deceased was regularly exposed to asbestos when working for East Kirkby Engineering Co Limited in Lincolnshire between 1964 and 1996. We were instructed after Mr G’s death and therefore needed to obtain evidence relating to his past exposure to asbestos from a witness who worked alongside the deceased for 6 years during the 1980’s.

Both were employed as heating engineers and the witness confirmed that the deceased would have regular cause to clean out flues, stand on lagging which covered calorifiers and also had to regularly chip off asbestos lagging as part of their duties in order to attend to leak repairs and other problems. 

We successfully recovered £105,000.00 from the Defendant’s insurers for the deceased’s widow. This case is another example of how it is possible to succeed in a claim for asbestos disease compensation without a statement from the person who sadly passed away from a compensatable condition. Providing the deceased spoke with family members about his exposure or even better still, if statements can be obtained from their former work colleagues, then claims of this type can be successful.

 

 

Civilian Exposure in the MOD

Mr W suffered with lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos as a civilian, working for the Ministry of Defence. Asbestos related lung cancer cases are more complex than mesothelioma claims as there is a need to establish that the client was exposed to substantial quantities of asbestos dust as there can be other causes of lung cancer including smoking.

It is common for engineering evidence to be obtained in such cases in order to paint a picture of the sufferers past total exposure to asbestos dust.

However, in this case, the Defendant proceeded to make an offer to settle the claim without requesting sight of engineering evidence which was unusual but allowed us to finalise the case for the family on an expedited basis.

 

Factory Exposure

We dealt with a case for Mr C who was diagnosed with mesothelioma during October of 2006. He was regularly exposed to asbestos dust during the course of the time he worked for Glacier Metal Co Limited on Glacier Way, Wembley, Middlesex between 1965 and 1986. His role involved cleaning out old bearings within the company’s service department. He had cause to mix asbestos powder to be placed into the holes in the bearings before being transferred to another section of the department to be relined with white metal.

We traced insurers for the company and successfully recovered £117,500.00 in damages for Mr C within a period of 6 months from first instruction.

 

 

Post May 1987 Exposure in the Royal Navy

We dealt with a successful case for the family of Mr John Kirk MBE who was exposed to asbestos when serving in a military capacity in the Royal Navy. Claims cannot usually be brought against HM forces due to Crown immunity although we succeeded in showing that Mr Kirk’s post May 1987 exposure to asbestos was of sufficient dose to have materially contributed to the risk of him developing mesothelioma. 

This was a case where we met with the well respected engineer, Mr Peter Deary in order to further strengthen the case against the Defendant, the Ministry of Defence.

As a result of our perseverance in a case which had been previously rejected by another firm of solicitors, Mr Kirk’s family received tens of thousands of pounds in compensation.

 

Marine Engineering

We successfully recovered a high figure of damages for Mrs Nairen who lost her husband due to asbestos related mesothelioma.

Mr Nairen was heavily exposed to asbestos when working at the Cammell Laird shipyard between 1953 and 1955 and we successfully held their successor, BAE Systems Marine Limited to account following his sad passing.

 

 

Heating Engineering 

We dealt with a case for Mr K who was diagnosed with asbestos related diffuse or widespread pleural thickening which caused him breathing problems. Our client came into account with asbestos on a regular basis when working for Worcester Heat Systems Limited between 1969 and 2003. The company made heating boilers and one of his jobs involved fitting asbestos insulation to the boilers at part of the manufacturing process.

He came to be exposed to asbestos which was known as “Marinite” when working as a charge hand and foreman during later years and successfully recovered tens of thousands of pounds from his former employer’s insurers.

 

 

Electrician’s Story 

We dealt with a successful claim for Mr F who was diagnosed with asbestosis and pleural thickening after being exposed to asbestos as an apprentice and fully qualified electrician, working for the South Western Electriciy Board in Cornwall from approximately 1946 to 1958.

He came to be exposed to asbestos dust as a result of drilling through asbestos ceilings and soffits behind wall spaces in order to fit wiring. He was also exposed when installing night storage heaters which had stopped working and while there was some doubt over whether Mr F was exposed to sufficient quantities of asbestos to confer a risk of him developing the conditions, we still succeeded in recovering compensation on his behalf.

 

 

Low Level Exposure Away from Heavy Industry

We dealt with a particularly novel claim for Mrs D who was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

The evidence showed that our client only ever came into contact with asbestos during the course of the time she worked at the Companies House offices in London. Our client could recall asbestos panelling having to be removed during the course of her work which resulted in some asbestos dust being released into the atmosphere.

The claim was settled for tens of thousands of pounds during Mrs Davis’s lifetime within a period of 8 months of receipt. This case is an example of even relatively small instances of exposure resulting in devastating effects.

 

 

Secondary or Passive Exposure

We successfully recovered a high figure of damages for Mrs C who sadly developed mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos in washing her son’s contaminated work clothes.

Our client’s son worked for the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) at the Stella South and Blyth power stations and would be exposed to asbestos dust which contaminated his work clothes during the course of his work as a mechanical fitter between 1973 and 1978 approximately.

This case showed that the CEGB did not have any laundry facilities at the power stations where our client’s son worked which could have limited her exposure. The case shows that asbestos related illnesses can also affect family members of workers.

 

 

 

Power Station and MOD Dockyard

We dealt with a claim for Mr Butcher who was exposed to asbestos when working for the Ministry of Defence in a civilian capacity between 1962 and 1967 and then again between 1971 and 1981 at the Chatham dockyard.

He also experienced regular asbestos exposure when working for the Central Electricity Generating Board at the Littlebrook Power Station in Kent for a year from June of 1968.

Mr Butcher went onto develop breathing problems as a result of being diagnosed with asbestos related pleural thickening. His case was settled on a provisional basis for tens of thousands and which also leaves the door open for him to claim should his condition ever deteriorate in certain ways in the future.

 

 

Kitsons and Power Station Exposure

We recovered tens of thousands of pounds for Mr R who was diagnosed with asbestosis as a result of being heavily exposed to asbestos when working for Kitson’s Asbestos, Britannia Road, Norwich between 1948 and 1951 and the Central Electricity Board based at the Norwich power station between 1963 to 1968 approximately.

This was a case where the Defendants attempted to argue against our client in obtaining their own medical evidence to dispute the cause of his breathing problems, although eventually they did back down and agreed to settle the claim.

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