Settlement Secured For Former Joiner and Carpenter Exposed To Asbestos During His Working Life

Specialist Asbestos-Related Disease Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell Secure Settlement For Stockton-On-Tees Man Exposed To Deadly Substance


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463
Industrial illness experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell have secured an undisclosed settlement for a former joiner and carpenter who was diagnosed with asbestosis caused by his exposure to asbestos during his working life decades ago.

David Ronald Myers, 60, from Stockton-On-Tees, Cleveland, was diagnosed with asbestosis in October 2013 after suffering with chest infections and a cough for a couple of years. The illness has affected David’s life as he gets breathless which means he can no longer walk far. 
Expert industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have now secured a settlement from his former employers, Walter Smith (Joinery) Ltd, where he worked between 1971 and 1974, and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, as holder of liabilities for Smith’s Dock (Southbank) Ltd, where he was employed between 1974 and 1977.

During his employment with Walter Smith (Joinery) Ltd, David was exposed to asbestos when cutting asbestos sheets to be placed into fire doors he manufactured. 

During his time with Smith’s Dock (Southbank) Ltd, David’s role involved manufacturing and fitting furniture and equipment for ships. He was also required to work alongside laggers, who would insulate pipework and the bulkhead of the ships with asbestos, which would be mixed on board the ships, releasing dust into the atmosphere.

Both companies failed to take the measures required to prevent David’s exposure to asbestos dust and fibres, which led to the development of asbestosis decades later.

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (which is legally liable for Smith's Dock (Southbank) Limited) admitted liability for his exposure and settled the case in November 2014.

The other company involved, Walter Smith (Joinery) Limited, denied liability for his illness, but David’s legal team at Irwin Mitchell secured a settlement in January, just two weeks before the case was due to proceed to trial at Newcastle High Court.

Isobel Lovett, Associate Solicitor and an expert asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, leading the case, said: 

David said: “I am delighted that my legal team at Irwin Mitchell have secured a settlement from my former employers after my asbestosis diagnosis. I was upset when I was told the condition was caused purely by going to work and doing my job.

“My wife and I were completely shell-shocked by my diagnosis and we are worried about what the future holds for me. It has already begun to affect our lives, as we can no longer do the things we used to enjoy, such as ballroom dancing, as I get out of breath very easily.

“We are delighted that a settlement has been secured by Irwin Mitchell without the need for me to go to court. I hope my case will act as a reminder to employers to take the necessary steps to prevent workers from being exposed to asbestos, so others don’t end up in the same situation as me in the future."

Our specialist asbestosis lawyers will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved on has been diagnosed with asbestosis caused by asbestos exposure. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.