Family awarded mesothelioma compensation
The family of a Northumberland teacher who died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at the school at which she taught has been awarded compensation following her death.
Patricia Cameron taught at Otterburn First School for five years from 1974 and developed the disease Mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, found in lagging in the school's boiler room, which she used to visit regularly to hang children's clothes to dry.
Following her death in 2004, the family instructed Newcastle personal injury law firm Irwin Mitchell to pursue a compensation claim against Northumberland County Council.
Evidence at the inquest revealed that Mrs Cameron's asbestos exposure was at levels associated with people who had worked in industry, but there was no indication that she had been exposed to asbestos dust other that during her employment as a teacher with NCC. Experts at Irwin Mitchell have warned that Mesothelioma can also be caused by modest exposure to asbestos.
The case ended without the council admitting liability.
Lucy Proctor, solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: Mesothelioma is typically associated with occupational exposure to asbestos in industry but sadly the numbers of people from other sectors who are developing the disease is increasing all the time.
Mrs Cameron would return from work complaining of breathlessness, but at the time, neither she nor her family were aware of Mesothelioma and the devastating effects it can have. She died 25 years after the exposure to asbestos ended, which gives an idea of how long Mesothelioma can take to have an effect.
Although Mrs Cameron suffered surprisingly heavy exposure, Mesothelioma can develop as a result of only slight exposure to asbestos it has been known, for example, for the families of industrial workers to develop the disease as a result of handling their asbestos dust -covered clothing.
People need to remember that it is not just industrial workers that may be affected. Unfortunately, Mesothelioma develops over time and the number of cases is expected to continue rising."
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