Personal Injury

Industrial Disease team secures settlement for fatal asbestos exposure case

After prolonged asbestos exposure from his work, our client Carter* received a terminal mesothelioma diagnosis. Read how we helped obtain justice and compensation for him and his family.

13 April 2023

man working in construction writing on pad

Our client

Our client Carter*, passed away from a malignant mesothelioma of his right pleura due to exposure to asbestos while he was employed by Samuel Wood & Sons and Maple Interiors.

During 1970 to 1972, Carter worked for the defendants as a haulage driver operating around London. He attended various customer sites to deliver building materials, dairy produce, and other items. He also collected and disposed of building materials from properties, which were either clearance jobs or being renovated. Materials included flat sheeting, corrugated roofing, and lead pipes, all covered with asbestos.

When arriving on the site, builders brought out debris and rubble, which were loaded onto the back of his van. When the rubble was shovelled into his lorry, large amounts of dust and debris filled the air, settling on Carter’s clothes and hair. Some of the debris contained asbestos lagged pipes and corrugated roofing which he used to break up with a shovel. He would remove the asbestos lagging by hand to expose the lead piping so it could be re-sold. When he arrived at the depot, he would shovel the load which would be burned to be disposed of, often hearing asbestos crackle under the intense heat. Carter wasn’t provided with PPE or warned of the risks of exposure to asbestos.

Between 1972 to 1975, he started working directly for Maples Interiors (now MC (No 35) Limited. He would drive to private customers addresses when their properties were being renovated and load the materials, most of which included asbestos covered lead pipes.

The lagged pipework was broken up using his hands and cut it off using a Stanley knife as the yard foreman wanted the lead pipework to be re-sold. He also collected corrugated roofing and broke it up using a shovel and/or a fork. This resulted in a large dispersion of dust and debris into the atmosphere. He wasn’t provided with any respiratory protective facemasks or warned of the risks of exposure to asbestos during his employment.

How Slater and Gordon helped

Carter started to suffer from symptoms related to mesothelioma in November 2019, first losing his appetite. As his symptoms worsened, he consulted his GP in January 2020. In February 2020, he experienced breathlessness and substantial pain at which point he was unable to go out for his daily walks and was sent for a chest x-ray.

He was admitted to Colchester Hospital for 12 days where he had five litres of fluid removed from a right sided effusion. Biopsies were taken and an indwelling catheter was inserted to drain fluid. When he was finally discharged, Carter was very ill and had deteriorated significantly, needing lots of family support.

Before the onset of his symptoms, Carter was his wife’s main carer as she suffered from Cerebellar ataxia. He did most of the housework, gardening, cooking, and shopping. However, he became so ill, he could no longer take care of himself and his wife, who then had to make all his drinks and meals. In March 2020, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He deteriorated, and began taking morphine to manage the pain, suffering terrible side effects.

As the illness progressed, he relied heavily on the care of his family and visits from carers. He spent the last three weeks of his life in a hospice.

After his passing, Carter’s family reached out to our expert industrial disease lawyers, and Edmund Young, an expert in personal injury and industrial disease law was able to secure justice and compensation for Carter and his family. He was able to obtain a settlement of £176,000 on behalf of his family.

How Slater and Gordon can help you

Asbestos exposure is extremely dangerous, and even minor exposure can lead to major illnesses such as lung cancer. At Slater and Gordon, our specialist solicitors are highly experienced in dealing with compensation claims for all types of asbestos-related diseases. We understand how overwhelming it can be, and we know people are unsure on where to start when it comes to making an asbestos claim.

We offer all clients making a claim for asbestos-related compensation on a no win no fee basis, ensuring no financial risk. We also don’t charge any additional fees to our asbestos clients, meaning you’ll keep all the compensation awarded to you if your claim is successful.

If you or a family member think that you have suffered in any way due to asbestos exposure, then we’re here for you. Contact us on 0330 041 5869 or online here to speak to a specialist asbestos solicitor.

*Client’s name has been changed for anonymity

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