Our client, an 80 year old widow, recovered £125,500 from her husband’s former employer, Joseph Lucas after he developed mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos during his employment with the company at their premises situated at Great Kings Street in Hockley, Birmingham.
Mr D was employed with Joseph Lucas throughout the whole of his working life. He began his employment in April 1945 before taking early retirement on 31 December 1988. At the age of 22 Mr D completed his apprenticeship with the Company and qualified as an electrician. In around 1960 Mr D was promoted to charge hand and in time to foreman and finally superintendant.
In the course of his employment Mr D was exposed to blue asbestos. Starting in about 1960, the ceilings and structural steelwork of the Great King site were insulated with blue asbestos (crocidolite). The asbestos was mixed on site and sprayed on using a machine. The process took a number of years during which Mr D would have been regularly exposed to asbestos dust. Several years later the Company began a programme of removal of the blue asbestos and once again Mr D found himself exposed to asbestos dust and fibres.
The Company provided no protective equipment nor did they warn employees of the dangers associated with asbestos exposure.
A claim was issued against Joseph Lucas. The court dealt with the claim under the expedited mesothelioma procedure adopted in the High Court in London. When judgment was entered an interim payment was ordered in favour of Mr D and the claim was ultimately settled by negotiation. Sadly Mr D died soon after proceedings had been commenced.
Specialist Industrial disease solicitor, Satinder Bains, who represented the family, commented: "Mr D devoted his entire working life to Joseph Lucas. Tragically he was not warned of the dangers of using asbestos materials and nor was he provided with any protection.
"Knowledge of the risks to health associated with exposure to asbestos dust dates back centuries. Despite developing knowledge asbestos continued to be used in industry until the mid-late 1970s. Mr D’s death was completely avoidable by affording him the protection that he was entitled to".
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