Settlement Secured For Former Prison Officer After Witnesses Come Forward In Asbestos Investigation

Expert Asbestos-Related Disease Lawyers Thanks Local Media After Witnesses Come Forward

20.03.2015

A former prison officer suffering from mesothelioma, a terminal cancer caused by asbestos, has been awarded a six-figure settlement after he was exposed to the deadly dust while working at Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight between 1979 and 2003.

Ronald Samways has thanked 20 of his former colleagues who came forward with crucial information that allowed his legal team at Irwin Mitchell to prove his case after an appeal in the Isle Of Wight County Press.

Former colleagues who worked alongside Ronald, 72, who was known as Ron, confirmed that asbestos had been discovered at the prison and that they had received correspondence from management informing them that asbestos had been discovered at the prison and that they themselves had been exposed to the deadly dust.  

Ron and his wife Sandra, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire have now received a settlement after the Treasury Solicitor admitted in September 2014 Mr Samways was negligently exposed to the deadly asbestos dust.

During his time working at the prison he was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres when he escorted contractors to sites around the prison where building work was ongoing. Pipework at the prison was also lagged with asbestos.

Martyn Hayward, a solicitor at law firm Irwin Mitchell who represented Ron, said: “This case is yet another very sad example of the damage that can be caused by exposure to asbestos. Traditionally, asbestos exposure is associated with heavy industries, but we are now seeing more and more people impacted by asbestos-related disease who have worked in government and public buildings, such as schools, hospitals and prisons and it is vital awareness is improved and steps taken to prevent exposure in these places.

“The presence of asbestos in Parkhurst prison has had a monumental impact on Ron and his family and they were absolutely devastated when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. We are delighted to have been able to finally secure a settlement for them after his exposure while working at Parkhurst prison.

“Without the help of the local press and the evidence of former colleagues, who came forward and were prepared to provide witness evidence, it would have been extremely difficult to prove our client's case. Thankfully, they were all able to confirm that asbestos had been discovered at the prison and that Ron was exposed to it.

Ron said: “I really can’t thank my former colleagues enough for coming forward with the information my legal team required to build a case after I was diagnosed with mesothelioma. It has been a terrible time for both of us, as I’ve been through chemotherapy, and my wife has had to watch me suffering in pain and see my condition worsening.

“Sandra and I are still struggling to come to terms with my diagnosis and worry what the future holds for us; we were looking forward to spending with each other, but that will now be cruelly taken away from us, purely because I went to work every day and did my job. 

“I’m relieved that my legal team at Irwin Mitchell secured a settlement from my former employers as it will help to pay for any assistance and care I need in the future, as well as providing financial stability for my wife.”

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