Our asbestos related disease lawyers have secured a five-figure settlement for bereaved daughters who lost their father to asbestos-related lung cancer.
This case was complex because the client (who started the claim with us before his death) was exposed to asbestos by several former employers. He was also a former smoker. However, we proved that his smoking habit was not the cause of his lung cancer, and therefore secured his family the compensation they deserved.
The client, Mr A, worked at a firm called JC Toogood Ltd as a gas fitter’s mate. He worked here between 1957 and 1961, travelling around the country replacing fuel boilers with gas boilers.
The old fuel boilers were lagged with asbestos, which needed removing before Mr A could install the new ones. This was a very dusty job, and JC Toogood did not offer Mr A any protective equipment or clothing while he was working there.
Mr A took it upon himself to tie a scarf over his mouth when the dust became unbearable, but claimed he still went home coughing every night.
Mr A’s next job was working for British Oxygen Ltd. Here he worked with medical gases, linking up the copper pipework to hospital beds in the wards.
The copper pipes were lagged with asbestos, which Mr A had to remove before pushing the new pipe through. Again, this was a very dusty job, and Mr A worked in very cramped conditions.
After working elsewhere for a number of months, Mr A returned to British Oxygen in 1966. This time around, he was not working directly with asbestos himself, but did work close to the laggers. Therefore, he was still inhaling their asbestos dust.
Eventually, Mr A couldn’t work anymore due to his respiratory issues and also because he had developed finger clubbing (a symptom linked with lung cancer). He retired in 2011, when he was 70 years old. However, he claimed he would have carried on working until he was 80 due to not being the ‘type of person who can just sit around’.
When Mr A’s breathing difficulties got worse, he went for a lung scan in 2015 which revealed a mass in his left lung. During that same month, he stopped smoking (breaking a habit of 58 years) and had surgery to remove the mass. However, there were complications after the operation, including leaking from the lungs and an infection where the surgeon made the incision.
Doctors persisted with treatment and Mr A had four cycles of chemotherapy, which gave him terrible side effects and made him extremely ill. Sadly, Mr A passed away in hospital in September 2018 after a long battle with the disease.
His two daughters continued the claim after his death. They had taken care of their father during the last few years of his life, estimating that the value of this care came to over £18,000.
Our industrial disease team proved that Mr A had suffered substantial exposure to asbestos which had doubled the risk of him developing lung cancer. It’s most likely that the asbestos exposure was the cause of his disease and not the fact that he smoked.
Case handler and Partner Satinder Bains said “There is a tendency to associate lung cancer with smoking. However, this is not always the case. In Mr A’s instance, his exposure to asbestos was so substantial we were able to prove that this was the cause of his lung cancer. Many people worked with asbestos during the 1960s and 70s and were not told of the dangers or offered protection by their employers. Mr A endured a difficult and painful disease as a result of his former employer’s negligence. Securing compensation for his family offered a sense of justice for them.”
Two of Mr A’s former employers admitted liability and a settlement was agreed the day before the case was due to go to trial.
If you or someone you love has been affected by asbestos in the workplace, we can help you make a claim. Visit Asbestos Claims page for more information.
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