Industrial Disease case studies
Slater and Gordon has a specialist department experienced in handling Industrial Disease Claims. Some of our recent cases are below:
Widow receives mesothelioma £133,000 settlement
The widow of a pipe joiner who died from mesothelioma as a result of work he did more than 40 years ago has received £133,000 in an out of court settlement.
Lesley Francois, a specialist industrial disease lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said her client took up the fight against her husband's former employers following his death.
Throughout the 1960s the husband was employed as a pipe joiner for a construction company which laid gas pipes all over London. Part of his job involved mixing asbestos powder with water to make a thick paste which he would then mould by hand and use to seal the joints of the three-feet-wide gas pipes.
"Unfortunately it can take up to 50 years following exposure to asbestos before any asbestos-related disease symptoms become apparent," said Lesley.
After liability was admitted, Lesley settled the claim on behalf of her client for £133,000 in September 2013.
Joiner develops occupational asthma
"My client was employed by a joinery that specialises in making greenhouses out of Western Red Cedar" said Edmund Young, a lawyer with Slater and Gordon. "His job involved making the interior wooden shelves for the structures and it was through his and his colleague’s use of various electric powered tools such as saws, planers, sanders and drills, that he was exposed to extremely high levels of the hazardous wood dust."
"Western Red Cedar wood creates a considerable amount of very fine and highly dangerous sawdust, especially when it is sanded," added Edmund.
Edmund said that within six to eight months of his client starting work at the new premises, he began suffering from breathlessness, wheezing and nightly coughing fits. In addition, he was unable to run, he was breathless after climbing stairs and he found it extremely difficult even cutting his lawn or doing any DIY work.
Edmund settled the claim on behalf of his client for £21,000 in February 2013.
Victim exposed to asbestos as a child
The family of a woman who was unwittingly exposed to asbestos as a child whilst washing her father’s work overalls has received £110,000 in an out of court settlement.
The London woman, who was in her 60s, sadly died from mesothelioma in August last year, just four months after starting her claim against her late father’s former employers and more than 40 years after she was first exposed to asbestos.
Peter Olszewski, a specialist industrial disease lawyer at Slater and Gordon, who represented the woman’s family after her death, said that from the early 1930s up until the mid 1970s, the woman’s father had worked as a pipe-lagger at a south London power station.
"As a young girl, the woman was extremely close to her father and would often meet him at the end of his shift and walk him home," he added. "She specifically remembered how dirty his overalls were each day and how much dust there would always be on his hands, face and hair. When they got home, he would stay in his asbestos-covered overalls to eat his dinner while she would sit in his lap cuddling him as he ate.
"After he had finished eating, the woman’s father would have his bath while his wife and daughter would hand-wash his dirty overalls in an annex off the kitchen," said Peter. "After first shaking off as much dust from his overalls as possible, they would then scrub them against a corrugated washboard before putting them out in the garden to dry. As she grew older the woman began washing her father’s overalls herself and she continued to do so every night up until her father retired from his job in 1971."
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