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Settlement victory for mesothelioma victimís family
The widow of a man who died from mesothelioma after he was exposed to asbestos through his work more than 50 years ago has received £155,000 in an out of court settlement.
“Around 12 months before his death, my client’s husband began suffering severe chest pains and breathlessness,” said Andrew. “After a series of scans revealed he was suffering from pleural thickening, he underwent an operation to drain a large amount of fluid from his left lung and when a biopsy confirmed he had sarcomatoid mesothelioma in July 2011 he began undergoing chemotherapy.
“When my client’s husband left school at the age of 14 he began working at a building company in Devon as an apprentice painter and decorator,” he added. “His job involved refurbishing old buildings and removing all the previous decorations. This would include stripping wallpaper or sanding down asbestos-coated walls and ceilings before redecorating the premises to the client’s specifications.
“Sanding the walls and ceilings down produced huge amounts of asbestos dust which would cover his hands, face and clothes,” said Andrew. “As his job often involved working alongside pipe-laggers - who would mix large bags of powdered asbestos with water to make an asbestos insulation paste that they would then apply to the pipes - the air was always thick with harmful asbestos dust. “
Even though the husband was constantly exposed to asbestos at work his employer failed to provide him with a mask or any kind of breathing apparatus to protect him from all the asbestos he was inhaling each day. Furthermore, he was never given any overalls and there was never any kind of extraction or ventilation system in place to help remove the asbestos dust from the air and workplace.
“Sadly, from September 2011, the health of my client’s husband quickly deteriorated to the point where he was in continual excruciating pain,” said Andrew. “Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the more aggressive strain of what is already an extremely unpleasant disease and not only did his chest pains return but he also began suffering with severe fatigue and breathlessness. When he began complaining that his legs always felt as if they were about to collapse beneath him he was issued with a wheelchair.
“Over the last few months of his life up until his death in April 2012 he was so heavily reliant on painkillers that he would often fail to recognise his own family,” he added. “Obviously this proved incredibly distressing for his family and although nothing can possibly make up for their loss, it is hoped that they can take some comfort in the fact that his former employers were finally held to account for failing to protect him from asbestos and for subjecting him to what is truly a most horrific disease.”
After liability was admitted, Andrew settled the claim on behalf of his client for £155,000 in September 2013.
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