Awareness of the hazardous health effects of asbestos exposure has heightened in recent years. Thankfully, changes in legislation mean that the material is no longer used and in any event, asbestos is only dangerous if it’s disturbed allowing dangerous dust fibres to disburse.
The risks of asbestos in relation to mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, have been known since the 1950s and 1960s however, the material was still widely used for a range of building insulation purposes until the late 1970s and only banned as recently as 1999.
We successfully won a six figure settlement for an 81 year old client who sadly died from mesothelioma just six weeks after instructing us suspecting that his illness was due to asbestos exposure during his career as a firefighter in the Midlands region.
Serving as a fireman between 1956 – 1984, much of his training took place in the basement of premises where he was in close proximity to boilers and pipework insulated with asbestos filled materials.
Chip pans and open fires were widely used during this period and he was called out to help extinguish a significant number of fires during his career in several buildings which were also filled with asbestos with no protective respiratory equipment provided by his employer.
Several years later, he sadly suffered with bowel cancer and had become accustomed to the pain so he thought nothing of it. It later transpired that the pain he was suffering was actually related to mesothelioma. His circumstances were particularly sad as he was also the main carer for his wife who suffered with dementia.
We proved that his untimely death was caused by the exposure to asbestos during his career as a fireman establishing when, where and how he had been exposed to the harmful dust which led to his terminal illness decades later.
While our client will sadly never benefit from the compensation secured for him, he took legal action to ensure the continued care of his wife following his death and we were very pleased to have successfully settled the matter to make this happen.
Symptoms following exposure to asbestos will often not present themselves until 30 – 40 years later and most individuals who have suffered illness as a result have been those who have been significantly exposed during the course of their work.
If you, or someone you know, may have been exposed to significant quantities of asbestos, the tell-tale signs may include:
• shortness of breath
• a persistent cough
• chest pain
• in more advanced cases, clubbed (swollen) fingertips
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice sooner rather than later. If you are sadly diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening or asbestos related lung cancer, you may be entitled to claim for compensation for your injuries.
Our team of occupational disease specialists have extensive experience in these matters and understand the upset an asbestos related diagnosis can cause both to the individual affected, and their families. Contact a member of our team for sensitive and confidential advice.
You can speak to a member of our team on 0161 835 8832. Alternatively, please email a summary of your potential claim and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.orgFind out more about our Occupational Disease department