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Six Figure Settlement For Widow Of Former Stoker Who Died From Mesothelioma

Our experienced asbestos related disease solicitors have secured a six-figure settlement sum for a woman who sadly lost her husband to mesothelioma.

Mr C started working for Avon Rubber Company in 1944. In this role he worked in the chalk room, putting chalk around rubber bicycle tyres before they went to be pressed. This chalk contained asbestos fibres, and there was no ventilation or any protective equipment provided when Mr C was working. Therefore he had ‘no choice’ but to inhale the asbestos fibres.

Following his National Service in the Royal Navy, Mr C then began working as a stoker at the Air Ministry Works Department. Four stokers worked on each boiler, and it was their responsibility to keep them going in order to generate hot water and heating. These boilers were lagged with asbestos.

During the summer months, the boilers were switched off and Mr C was part of the team who carried out maintenance work on them. The team would remove the old lagging, and mix and apply new asbestos lagging.

All of this was a dusty process, meaning that Mr C and his colleagues once again inhaled asbestos fibres while they were at work. At the time, Mr C ‘had no idea that asbestos was harmful’ and was not provided with protective equipment or clothing.

Even after the maintenance work had been carried out, Mr C still had to mix fresh asbestos lagging throughout the year as part of the upkeep of the boilers. He said that he dealt with asbestos ‘nearly every day, one way or another’ while working at the Ministry of Public Building and Works/Air Ministry Works Department.

Some years later in 1964, Mr C returned to work at Avon Rubber Company. He described the factory as ‘very dusty’; partially due to it being an old building, but also because of all the talc that was used there.

Mr C worked in the extrusion department as a moulder, where talc was used to stop the rubber components from sticking to each other. This talc covered the floors and surfaces of the extrusion department, and dispersed into the air when it was disturbed by workers going about their jobs.

The factory roof was made from asbestos and the pipework around the inside of the factory was also lagged with it. When maintenance work was carried out on them during working hours, Mr C and his colleagues inhaled asbestos dust produced in the process.

Mr C first went to hospital in 2015 after feeling ill, where doctors drained his lung and found evidence of previous asbestos exposure. However, Mr C wasn’t officially diagnosed with mesothelioma until two years later in May 2017.

Mr C had enjoyed an active life, helping his wife around the house and doing the gardening. They had been married for over 70 years and had two sons and three daughters. Mr C got in touch with our solicitors to see if we could help him get the support he needed to maintain his lifestyle.

We took on Mr C’s case and investigated the links between his former jobs and his illness. He gave a detailed account of his employment history and in particular, the jobs in which he was exposed to asbestos.

We also had an independent respiratory consultant assess Mr C’s case, who confirmed that his illness was caused by asbestos exposure at both Avon Rubber Company and the Ministry of Public Building and Works/Air Ministry Works Department.

Sadly, Mr C passed away while his claim was ongoing, so his widow continued it on his behalf.

The Air Ministry (part of the Ministry of Defence) now meets the liabilities of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works/Air Ministry Works Department, which no longer exists. However, they originally denied any interest in Mr. C’s claim.

After further investigation, the Air Ministry confirmed their interest and we made a settlement offer to them and Avon Rubber. The next month, they put forward a six-figure counter-offer which Mr. C’s widow accepted.

Specialist asbestos related disease solicitor, Laura Wilkinson, who handled Mr C’s case, said “Mr C was wrongly exposed to asbestos throughout his working life. While we cannot change the tragic circumstances surrounding his death, I was pleased to secure compensation for his wife to ensure her future financial stability and achieve some justice in Mr C’s memory.”

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our asbestos solicitors can help you to claim compensation. Read our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.

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