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23 December 2020 | Case Study | Article by Richard Green

Case Study: Mr W receives damages following his development of asbestosis


Mr W instructed Hugh James following his diagnosis with asbestosis, which is a type of lung fibrosis. Fibrosis is a scarring of the lungs which can have a number of different causes. Where it is asbestos related however, it is known as ‘asbestosis’. Asbestosis is associated only with very high levels of asbestos exposure.

Mr W had been exposed to asbestos dust throughout his working life as an electrician. During this time, he had worked in a variety of industrial premises including power stations and factories, and was required to run electricity cables alongside asbestos lagged pipes, and work within boiler rooms which contained asbestos lagging.

Extensive research was carried out into Mr W’s many previous employers and letters sent out to those 7 companies which were either still live, or which had insurance in place. None was prepared to accept responsibility for his illness however and so proceedings were issued in spring 2019. Thereafter, all companies denied liability on the basis that Mr W had not been exposed to asbestos dust sufficient to have caused his development of asbestosis.

Expert engineering comment was accordingly sought upon the likely asbestos dose to which Mr W had been exposed at work, and this confirmed that he had been exposed to high levels of asbestos dust whilst working for FH Wheeler and Manchester City Council in the 1950s and 1960s. The medical experts agreed that this exposure was sufficient to have caused Mr W’s development of asbestosis. The claims against FH Wheeler and Manchester City Council were accordingly pursued, whilst Mr W discontinued against the other companies.

The matter had been listed for trial in March 2021, but in late 2020, we were able to negotiate with FH Wheeler and Manchester City a five-figure settlement for Mr W. This will help to provide for his care needs into the future.

If, like Mr W, you have developed an asbestos related illness then contact Hugh James’ Asbestos Disease team today, as they may be able to help.

Author bio

Richard is a Partner and head of the asbestos litigation team. Richard specialises in asbestos-related disease claims and has recovered millions of pounds in compensation for his clients.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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