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Electrician's daughter receives mesothelioma compensation
The daughter of an electrician who died from mesothelioma after he was regularly exposed to asbestos through his work more than 50 years ago has received £95,000 in compensation.
Edmund Young, an industrial disease specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the man, who was in his late 70s, had sadly died shortly after initiating a claim against his former employers in February 2011.
“My client’s father first noticed his health was deteriorating in the summer of 2010 when his weight started plummeting and he began finding it increasingly difficult to catch his breath,” said Edmund, an associate with the firm. “Over the next few months his appetite gradually disappeared and he began experiencing chest pains. In February 2011, he was referred for a CT chest scan and a biopsy which confirmed he was suffering with malignant mesothelioma.
“He approached us only two weeks after he was diagnosed, but by this time he was extremely frail and he had great difficulty walking for any distance,” added Edmund. “Once his illness took hold, he became largely incapacitated and having previously acted as the main carer for his wife, who was housebound with crippling arthritis, he was devastated when he discovered he could no longer look after her. After several admissions to hospital for ongoing care he was finally admitted to a hospice where he sadly died in April 2011.”
From the mid 1950s, the Gravesend man worked for a local firm as an electrician undertaking several short-term contracts for a number of schools in Kent and South London. “His job involved rewiring electrical cables and laying them beneath the existing pipework within the school’s loft spaces,” said Edmund. “The asbestos pipe lagging would frequently flake off in clumps and fill the confined and unventilated loft spaces with thick and harmful dust.”
From 1960 onwards, the claimant’s father carried out work for the same company at a power station near Gravesend. His job, which involved fitting electrics and lighting, required him to work within just a few metres of laggers who would mix large vats of asbestos by adding water to the material to form a paste before it was then applied to pipework.
“My client’s father distinctly remembered the huge amounts of dust the laggers would create and how his shoes would be covered in white asbestos at the end of each day as a result,” said Edmund. “Astonishingly, there was no natural ventilation in the area and like the majority of industrial disease cases we see dating back to the 1960s, at no point was he ever provided with any type of breathing equipment, nor warned of the risks that asbestos posed to his health.”
Following the man’s death, his widow was appointed as executrix of her husband’s estate, but when she tragically died just a few months after her husband, the claim was taken up by their daughter.
“Following the devastating loss of both her parents over the space of just a few months, my client took up her father’s fight against his former employers on his behalf,” said Edmund. “Mesothelioma is a painful, debilitating and terminal illness that is only ever caused by asbestos. My client’s father worked diligently throughout his life only to be repaid with an illness whose prognosis was a source of great shock and distress to both him and his family.”
Edmund Young settled the claim on behalf of his client for £95,000 in April 2012.
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