We secured a six-figure compensation settlement for our client after he was diagnosed with asbestosis. Our asbestosis claims solicitors proved this was through exposure to asbestos while working as a carriage fitter.
Our client, Malcolm*, worked for Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Works between 1956 and 1962. His job involved fitting flooring tiles to the toilets in railway carriages. He also carried out sheet metal work for carriage fittings, such as lampshades.
Malcolm would do this work shortly after the carriages had been sprayed with asbestos insulation.
The carriages were sprayed with asbestos insulation in a spray shop just a few hundred yards away from Malcolm’s workstation. If he needed any materials to do his work, he needed to walk through the spray shop to get them.
Nobody who needed to enter the spray shop was given any personal protective equipment. The asbestos insulation spray could be seen in the air, and Malcolm was aware he was breathing the substance in as he walked through.
The interior of each carriage would be coated with asbestos insulation spray when Malcolm needed to do his work inside them. Most of his job was done on his hands and knees, meaning he was breathing in the spray residue that had settled on the floor of the carriage.
Because of an ongoing cough, Malcolm was referred to a respiratory clinic in 2008. A chest scan had revealed cause for concern by a doctor, who wanted to check if Malcolm had a tumour.
The scan revealed no tumour and the doctors told Malcolm he had nothing to worry about.
He was referred to the respiratory clinic again in 2019 after experiencing breathlessness. A chest and heart scan revealed a problem with his lungs, and Malcolm was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. Further investigation showed that he had asbestosis.
Malcolm had always been an active person. He went for a two-mile walk every day and regularly went with his son for days out. Over time, it became harder for him to walk without feeling breathless.
As his symptoms grew worse, Malcolm’s son had to help him with daily tasks he’d never had a problem doing alone before.
Malcolm’s symptoms have continued to worsen, and he now needs home oxygen therapy. He can only walk for a few minutes at a time before he needs to stop and catch his breath. As a result, he’s mostly housebound.
How we helped
Malcolm contacted us seeking compensation for his condition. Our asbestosis claims solicitors started by investigating his claim and previous employment.
We gathered Malcolm’s medical records and sought independent reports by medical experts. This gave us more insight into how his condition was caused. We also collected witness evidence from people who’d worked with Malcolm.
Our investigations showed that Malcolm’s asbestos exposure was related to his job at Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Works. The evidence we gathered made it much easier to prove this.
A six-figure settlement
As we were able to prove liability against Malcolm’s former employer, they made an offer of compensation. Malcolm was eager to resolve the claim as smoothly as possible and was happy to accept the amount.
As a result, we secured a six-figure compensation settlement for Malcolm.
Malcolm’s claim was handled by one of our senior solicitors, Maria Roberts.
Speaking of this case, Maria said: “Seeing Malcolm’s deteriorating condition is a devastating example of the consequences workers face when their employers don’t take the proper steps to protect them.
“The effects of asbestos often don’t make themselves known for decades after exposure has taken place. I hope Malcolm’s claim is an example to others affected that it’s never too late to seek compensation for an employer’s negligence.”
Malcolm’s son was delighted with the work we did for his dad. He recently left Maria a five-star review on Trustpilot, stating: “Maria was friendly, clear every time I spoke to her (which was a lot). She took her time with us and explained everything in simple straightforward language.”
*Client’s name has been changed to preserve anonymity.
Back to Client Stories