It's not just carpenters, builders and contractors who are at risk of contracting fatal Mesothelioma after asbestos exposure.
I remember reading an article last year in Post Magazine, on the deaths of Malcolm MacLaren, former manager of the Sex Pistols, and Mickie Most, music producer, both died from Mesothelioma and both coincidentally at the age of 64.
The music industry is not one you normally associate as having a high risk of asbestos exposure. Whilst MacLaren’s exposure may have been from taking down a ceiling in the shop that he ran with Vivienne Westwood called “Sex” on the Kings Road in the 1970s ( Brown asbestos had been used in insulation and as reinforcement in ceiling tiles), Mickie Most’s death may have resulted from exposure to asbestos through the acoustic panels applied to ceilings and walls to reduce echoes and reverberation prior to the 1980s. These panels contained asbestos to provide strength and fire resistance.
Sadly these 2 deaths show that even very limited exposure can have fatal consequences.
Trying to find a positive: It is pleasing to see that this week the Supreme Court has found in favour of the families of 2 other Mesothelioma victims. Both of the victims had had very mild exposure to asbestos; one a schoolgirl, the other an office worker in a factory.
Their lordships held that if a claimant could prove negligent exposure to asbestos of a level than was not 'de minimis' then in Mesothelioma cases he will succeed even if he was exposed to a greater level from the local environment.
This is a very helpful decision and should avoid those suffering from this dreadful condition having to spend their last days involved in litigation.
Simon Allen is a Partner at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Sheffield.
Slater and Gordon are a leading personal injury law firm with more than 1,400 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Merseyside, Bristol, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield, Cambridge & meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire.