Our asbestos claims solicitors have helped a Staffordshire woman claim £435,000 in compensation after her husband died of mesothelioma. He had been exposed to asbestos while working as an electrician.
Our client’s husband left school at sixteen to take up an apprenticeship as an electrician with the Midlands Electricity Board. He qualified in 1970 and staying working there until November 1973.
His job involved working on a variety of properties, including new builds. Most of the electrical units he worked with at the time - meters, fuse boxes, switch-gears – contained asbestos in some form. One of his tasks on new build properties was also to fix asbestos insulation behind electrical equipment.
Cutting the asbestos insulation boards would create a cloud of fine white dust that would cover his hands and clothes. Tidying up afterwards kicked even more asbestos dust up into the air as he swept his work area and threw the dust and debris into a bin.
He was never given any protection, such as a face mask, and was never instructed to wet down the boards to prevent dust spreading.
He was also exposed to asbestos while working on older buildings. He remembers breathing in dust while ripping out and replacing various pipes, cables and conduits at St. George’s Hospital. He also had to drill through asbestos sheeting when working on farms.
Again, he wore no face mask and was never warned of the dangers of working with asbestos.
40 years later, in 2014, he began suffering from a cough, back pain, and shortness of breath. His wife convinced him to see a GP after the symptoms had lasted for several months.
His GP referred him to the County Hospital in Stafford, where he stayed from 28th April-12th June 2015 to have a variety of tests. Doctors diagnosed him with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, on the 23rd June.
He began radiotherapy and chemotherapy to combat the illness but couldn’t work and was worried about financial security for him and his wife – particularly because his wife suffers from multiple sclerosis and needs care.
He contacted our asbestos claims lawyers to see if we could help.
He sadly died before we could reach a settlement, but we secured £435,000 in compensation for his wife. This sum will ensure her financial security and cover the cost of care that her husband would have provided.
Satinder Bains, an Irwin Mitchell Partner who specialises in asbestos-related disease claims, handled the case. "This case highlights how asbestos-related diseases can strike many decades after exposure," she said. "Our client was exposed shortly after leaving school to become an apprentice, but only developed symptoms shortly before his death over 40 years later."
"We’re glad to have secured a significant settlement for his widow so she can continue to have the financial security that her husband provided."
"We now see on a daily basis the devastating impact exposure to asbestos years ago is having on thousands of people’s lives. We’re pleased to have secured compensation for our client, but nevertheless this tragic case has left a widow bereft of her husband of many years."
If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at work, you may be able to make a compensation claim. See our Mesothelioma Claims page for more information.
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