Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Asbestos Related Disease team has helped the family of a 73-year-old father-of-two, who sadly died from a terminal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, to claim over £70,000 in compensation.
Mr C worked for The Rover Company Limited ('Rover') between 1956 and 1973 and it was alleged that they were negligent in exposing him to asbestos during the course of his employment. It was this exposure which resulted in his asbestos related condition and his subsequent death.
Mr C undertook his apprenticeship with Rover and after he qualified, he was involved in the development of the sports cars models ‘T3’ and ‘T4’. These were the first vehicles designed to be run by gas turbines. Unfortunately, during this period, asbestos was commonly used as an insulator due to its high heat resistance, especially in the manufacture of vehicles.
This left Mr C exposed to the material on a regular basis when working on the asbestos coated engines of the vehicles.
During this time, Mr C worked without a protective mask, which could have prevented him from inhaling asbestos dust. He was not given any health and safety training to minimise the dangers of working with asbestos, nor was he given any warnings of the dangers coming into contact with asbestos. This resulted in the development of mesothelioma 30 years later.
Before Mr C was diagnosed with mesothelioma, he was fit and healthy, and even built his own car after his retirement. However, symptoms of his illness began around Christmas 2011, when Mr C began to feel breathless, suffered from back pain and started to feel extremely tired.
It wasn’t until months later, in Easter 2012, when Mr C visited his GP who referred him to hospital. He underwent many investigations including chest x-rays, CT scans and a biopsy, which confirmed the development of mesothelioma in his lungs in the Summer of 2012.
Unfortunately, his condition continued to deteriorate with increasing breathlessness and he sadly passed away on 2 October 2012, depriving his family and friends of many years with him.
How Irwin Mitchell Helped
His family decided to contact Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Asbestos Related Disease team and one of our experienced solicitors, Hayley Hill, was able to deal with their claim. Hayley was able to gather enough evidence from former employees of Rover, who were also close friends of Mr C, confirming that there was asbestos present within his working environment. After some negotiations, Hayley was able to secure the family of Mr C £73,000 in compensation.
Hayley Hill, Associate and industrial disease specialist at our Birmingham office, acted for Mr C and his family and said: "This was an interesting claim due to the unusual nature of Mr C’s exposure. It had a number of potential difficulties, including potentially low level exposure experienced by Mr C during his employment.
"The extensive investigations carried out on behalf of Mr C and his family resulted in sufficient evidence to secure agreement from his former employer that Mr C had been negligently exposed to asbestos during his employment, without the need to commence Court proceedings.
"Although the compensation paid by his former employer will not bring back their loved one, we were extremely pleased to be able to successfully conclude the claim and to provide some security for the family of Mr C, which had been his hope when commencing the claim."
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