The widow of a mesothelioma sufferer has received a six-figure compensation payment against his former employer, Alfred Herbert Limited. Mr S worked for Alfred Herbert Limited as an apprentice and later as a pattern maker at the Defendant’s factory premises in Canal Road, Edgewick, Coventry, from 1947 – 1980.
The firm was a large engineering firm which made components and tools for the Coventry cycle industry and the rest of the world. At one stage Alfred Herbert Limited was one of the largest machine tool manufacturers in the world.
In 1975 the company was renamed Herbert Limited and an escalation of tool inputs in the United Kingdom left the company behind and the business eventually closed in 1983.
Mr S spent the first year of his employment working with carpenters before starting his apprenticeship as a pattern maker. The carpenters were responsible for building maintenance and repair. They regularly used asbestos sheets which were cut to size with an electrical saw.
Mr S assisted the carpenters cutting asbestos sheets and worked in close proximity to the electrical saw. As an apprentice and qualified pattern maker, Mr S was based in the pattern shop which was situated next to the carpenter shop. He continued to be exposed to asbestos dust and fibres created by the carpenters work.
Ventilation in the premises was poor and the premises was generally contaminated with asbestos dust and fibres. At no stage was Mr S or other employees warned about the dangers of asbestos or provided with any form of respiratory protection.
Mr S started to develop breathing difficulties in early 2007 and after extensive investigations, he was diagnosed with the fatal asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, in July 2007. Sadly, Mr S passed away on 6 September 2007 due to this dreadful asbestos related disease. Mrs S instructed Irwin Mitchell Solicitors shortly afterwards.
A claim was brought against his former employer and a successful negotiated settlement was reached prior to a Court Trial.
Ronan Hynes, a Solicitor from Irwin Mitchell, a specialist in the Industrial Disease Team, who handled Mrs S’s case said: “I am pleased that we have managed to obtain compensation on behalf of Mrs S. However, it is important to keep in mind that compensation is merely a consolation. Mrs S has lost her husband, partner and companion of 47 years”.
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