Electrician develops lung disease decades after asbestos exposure

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Electrician develops lung disease decades after asbestos exposure

30th August 2011

A Kent man who developed a lung disease after being exposed to asbestos more than 40 years ago, has received £75,000 in compensation in an out of court settlement.

Nick Greaves, an industrial disease expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said his client was diagnosed with extensive pleural plaques and asbestosis in 2007 after an onset of symptoms that included extreme breathlessness.

“Pleural plaques and asbestosis are both caused by the inhalation and retention of microscopic asbestos fibres,” said Nick, a solicitor with the firm. “Pleural plaques are localised scarring of the outer lung while asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory lung disease which severely limits oxygen uptake to the bloodstream.”

Nick said his client, who was employed as an electrician from the mid 1950’s until the early 1970’s, worked alongside laggers and other tradesmen and was often tasked with removing asbestos lagging by chipping it away from pipework.

“My client worked directly with a variety of asbestos materials and clearly remembers cutting asbestos boards so that wires and cables could be fed through them,” said Nick. “He also specifically recalls working alongside tradesmen as they produced asbestos lagging by mixing a cement-like substance with water to make a paste. This would create a huge cloud of asbestos dust which would spread throughout the workplace being inhaled by anyone in close proximity.”

The claimant, who is now in his 70’s, was never warned about the potential dangers of working with asbestos, nor was he ever provided with a mask or any other type of respiratory equipment.

“It is an absolute disgrace how widely employees were routinely exposed to asbestos in the 1960’s and 70’s,” said Nick. “Even though the dangers of the material were known, workers were still exposed on a daily basis with scant regard for their health and well-being. As a direct consequence of work he did over 40 years ago, my client now suffers with extensive asbestos-related damage to his lungs.

“His breathing is severely restricted and is likely to get a lot worse,” added Nick. “Furthermore, his mobility is seriously impaired and there is a significant risk his condition will deteriorate and he will require increasingly constant nursing care as time progresses. Although no amount of money can possibly compensate for his failing health, it is hoped the settlement he has now received will help him pay for any additional care he may need in the future.”

Nick settled the claim on behalf of his client for £75,000 in July 2011.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of industrial diseases.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.