Mr R was an employee of the defendants Sarantel Limited and worked for them as a development technician since 2003. His employment involved the manufacture of electronic components. These components required soldering, either manually or mechanically. The soldering fumes contained colophony which is a substance hazardous to health. Mr R later developed asthma.
A claim was issued against Mr R’s employers in the Birmingham County Court. The case was pursued on the basis that in the course of his work as a development technician Mr R was required to hand solder large orders of GPS antenna prototypes with ineffective extraction. It was pursued on the basis that there had been breach of statutory duty which had materially increased the risk of asthma from work and specifically a breach of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.
The claim was complicated and presented significant evidential difficulties. The defendant argued that there was no breach of the Regulations. The defendant also argued that if they were found to be negligent there should be a deduction from damages due to contributory negligence. They ultimately offered to settle the claim out of court and without any deduction in damages for contributory negligence and within weeks of Trial, in the sum of £40,000.
Satinder Bains, one of our specialist Industrial Disease lawyers who represented Mr R, commented:
"After a tough legal battle I am delighted that settlement has been agreed. Mr R’s employers allowed him to work for lengthy periods of time in unprotected conditions and with little regard for his health. Since settlement of his claim I am pleased that Mr R has been able to retrain and pursue his chosen career of draughtsman”.
If you or a loved one has suffered from respiratory problems - such as occupational asthma or silicosis - caused by conditions at work, our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Industrial Disease Claims page for more information.
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