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Settlement For Leeds Man Diagnosed With Asbestos-Related Cancer

Specialist Lawyers Helped Secure Private Immunotherapy Treatment


James Clarke, Press Officer | +44 (0)161 838 3169

Specialist lawyers representing an electrician, who was diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer, have secured a settlement agreement which will cover the cost of his future immunotherapy treatment.

Father-of-three Grahame Hyman, 61 from Leeds, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. The cancer affects the lining of the lungs and is linked to asbestos exposure. It can take decades for symptoms to show after the exposure, depending on the levels of exposure.

Following the devastating diagnosis, he instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office to help him discover how he came into contact with the deadly material and gain justice regarding his illness.

Now, after identifying his exposure most likely took place during his time working at Skelton Grange power station, the legal experts have helped him secure a settlement from RWE Generations UK plc, owners of the site, which will ensure that the cost his private immunotherapy treatment will be covered.

Ian Toft, the Partner and asbestos-related disease expert at Irwin Mitchell’s representing Grahame, said: 

Expert Opinion
“This settlement is a hugely important step forward for Grahame and his family.

“Mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer, and unfortunately there is no known cure. However, it can be treated and immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that can help boost the body’s defences to fight cancer by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells.

“The treatment can be costly and is not routinely available on the NHS so some patients do have to undergo the treatment privately. This can lead to financial worries, which thankfully this settlement removes for Grahame.”
Ian Toft, Partner

Grahame, who has been married to Susan for 37 years, worked at Skelton Grange for just under 12 months in 1974 and 1975 while employed by Hall & Kay as an electrician. He had joined the firm, who were based on Meadow Lane in Leeds, as an apprentice electrician in 1974.

While working at Skelton Grange, Grahame would be involved in tray work, this involves bolting a piece of metal in place to then clip electric cables to the metal. This would be carried out near pipe fitters that were also on site working.

The pipe fitters work involved disturbing lagging on the pipework in the power station, which contained asbestos. They would also apply wet mix lagging to the plant’s boilers as well as the pipework.

Recalling the working conditions at Skelton Grange, Grahame said: “I worked on temporary platforms while working at the power station. These were moved along as and when we needed.

“As I worked, pieces of lacking would fall around me, creating a lot of dust some of which settled on the scaffold as I was on. As this was moved along some of the dust and pieces which had dropped onto the platform were shaken off and dropped onto the floor below, putting more dust into the air.

“The power station was very dusty place to work. You only had to touch something or bang a bit of steelwork and a cloud of dust went into the air which you would then breathe in. Everything was very dirty and dusty.

“When the asbestos lagging was knocked off it was often left lying there with the other dust and dirt.”

The grandfather-of-two was diagnosed in January 2016, following tests at Leeds Teaching Hospital. Since his diagnosis, he has undergone three cycles of immunotherapy as his symptoms worsened.

Grahame added: “My diagnosis shocked both Susan and I. It’s been hard adapting to my symptoms as I used to be active around the house but as a result of my fatigue and breathlessness I am unable to do the DIY jobs I used to do. 

“Finding out that I contracted mesothelioma from asbestos exposure while I was working was very frustrating and painful. When you go to work, you expect to be protected.

“I am thankful to my legal team at Irwin Mitchell for securing me this settlement. Since my diagnosis I have worried about my treatment and the financial implications. With this settlement, at least some of the worries have subsided. 

“I can focus on spending time with Susan, the kids and grandkids.”

Read about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in mesothelioma cases.