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Stone Mason Receives Settlement After Developing Silicosis From Unsafe Working Conditions

Our specialist industrial disease lawyers have secured a settlement for a former stone mason who developed a serious lung disease after being exposed to harmful silica dust at work.

Christopher Jones was employed by John Laing Plc between 1988 and 1994 and by Smith Stone Sales (formerly Dave Smith Stone Sales) from 1996 until his diagnosis in 2013. His work included restorations of historical building such as Blackpool Town and Chirk Castle in Wales as well as theatres and churches across the country.

The 52-year-old started suffering from breathlessness in 2012 and was diagnosed with silicosis a year later.

Silicosis is caused by inhaling large amounts of silica dust, usually over many years. Silica is naturally found in certain types of stone and working with these materials can release silica dust into the air. The disease causes serious breathing difficulties and can increase the risk of life-threatening conditions such as lung cancer or heart failure.

Healthcare professionals advised Christopher that he can’t return to work in the stone industry as his condition will continue to deteriorate.

The father-of-three got in touch with specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he was exposed to the silica dust and why more was not done to protect him.

“Regrettably, many of the sites that I worked at were incredibly dirty and dusty and I got covered in dust every day,” Chris said, “I couldn’t help but breathe it in. I was never warned about how dangerous silica dust could be for my health or given a suitable mask to wear to protect me from the worst of it.”

We were able to agree settlements with both John Laing Plc and Smith Stone Sales to make sure Christopher and his family receive the support they need since he is no longer able to return to work.

“I am happy that my legal team has secured me this settlement which will provide some security for myself and my family,” said Chris, “I enjoyed working as a stone mason and now cannot imagine doing anything else.”

“Since my diagnosis I have suffered with the psychological effects of living with a long term occupational lung disease and I hope my experience can serve as a warning to others to ensure they are safe at work.”

Nicola Handley, a solicitor in our industrial disease team, worked on Christopher’s case. “Silicosis is a serious illness which can be very distressing for victims like Chris and their families,” she said, “Silicosis is incurable and it can often develop to leave victims unable to carry out many day to day tasks and also have fatal consequences.”

“We are delighted to have secured this settlement, after issuing court proceedings, to ensure security and stability for Christopher and his family.”

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with silicosis due to unsafe working conditions, our industrial disease solicitors may be able to help you make a silicosis claim. Contact us online to find out more.

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