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Our Workplace Illness team has successfully recovered a five-figure settlement for a Birmingham man who was left with chronic asthma after being exposed to dangerous chemicals at work.
Our client, Mr Thomas, was working as an artificial limb technician when he began to develop symptoms of a cough, wheezing and chest tightness. He underwent an annual health assessment with his occupational health doctor and was diagnosed by the Birmingham Chest Clinic as suffering from occupational asthma.
We took on Mr. Thomas’ case in early 2015. His employers conceded that they had failed in their duty of care towards him but denied that his working conditions had caused his asthma. Instead, they claimed that the asthma was due to other unrelated factors, including a previous testosterone injection, beta-blockers and an allergy to cats.
The case was strongly contested and we worked hard with Mr Thomas to prove that his condition was caused by his exposure to isocyanates as part of the manufacturing of the artificial limbs. Mr Thomas was exposed on a regular basis without adequate protection. We instructed a specialist respiratory physician who provided independent medical evidence to support the case.
It became apparent during the case that Mr Thomas was unlikely to be able to return to work because the risk of further exposure to the chemicals was too great. Our workplace illness lawyers structured his claim accordingly and successfully secured compensation to cover loss of earnings as well as Mr Thomas’ physical suffering.
Alex Shorey, a Workplace Illness solicitor from Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, said of the case: “This was a difficult case due largely as a result of the Defendant’s approach and their failure to accept that his exposure was the most likely cause of his illness. The fact remains that Mr Thomas should never have been exposed to isocyanates without being provided with adequate respiratory protection. The risks of exposure should be well known to all employers who remain under an obligation to properly assess such risks”.
“We had no option but to issue proceedings to protect Mr Thomas’ position and ensure that we maximised his damages.”
If you have developed asthma or another illness because of your working conditions, our expert lawyers could help you make a claim. See our Occupational Asthma Claims page or Workplace Illness Claims page for more information.
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