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English Ex Patriot Receives Compensation for Mesothelioma after Asbestos Exposure in UK

An English ex-patriot who developed an asbestos-related disease after being exposed to asbestos dust in the UK more than four decades ago has been awarded six-figure compensation in the UK.

Norman Turner, 67, worked for Courtalds at its chemicals factory in Liverpool from 1966 to 1969; the Liverpool Post reports. He was exposed to asbestos dust, which he described as "thick like a fog", at the site on a regular basis.

Mr Turner later retired to Cyprus, but while living on the Mediterranean island he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a fatal lung disease that caused by asbestos exposure.

Speaking about his working environment in the late 1960s, he admitted he had "no idea just how dangerous it was. "The dust was everywhere, but there was no warning about the dangers." 

He also said that he did once complain to management at Courtalds, which now trades as Akzo Nobel, that better ventilation in the work areas was needed in order to "clear out the dust, because it was hard to breathe".

He went on to state that while the medical treatment he has received in Cyprus has been very good, he has had to pay for everything himself, as the island does not offer free medical care in the same way as the UK's NHS does.

As a result, Mr Turner believes the six-figure asbestos compensation payment is "crucial" as it will enable him to continue making ends meet. He added that while he is aware that Mesothelioma is usually fatal, he is "determined to remain positive" and not dwell on it too much.

Mr Turner's compensation claim was handled in the UK by Louise Larkin, a specialist Asbestos Claims Lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Liverpool, who said the positive attitude he has displayed towards his illness has been "amazing."

However, she noted that Mr Turner now faces "significant" medical bills as a result of the conditions he had been subjected to by his former employer. "He is now living with the consequences of being exposed to asbestos dust many years ago."

Louise Larkin concluded, "this case shows that ex-patriots from England, Scotland and Wales can successfully claim compensation for asbestos related diseases in the UK, even though they were exposed to asbestos decades before they moved overseas to live abroad as ex-patriots."

Slater and Gordon manage a UK Asbestos Register for people to register any potential exposure to asbestos materials.

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By Chris Stevenson​