August 23, 2013

Claim for widower of woman exposed to asbestos dust from his work clothes settles for £50k

Mrs T was only in her early 60s when she was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Sadly, she deteriorated very quickly and died very soon after her diagnosis. She had never been exposed to asbestos in her own work.

Mrs T’s husband, however, had always worked in the building trade. He thought he might have been exposed to asbestos in two of his jobs, and as a result unwittingly brought asbestos dust home on his work clothes, which in turn exposed his wife to asbestos. One job was for a very large building company who were engaged in big commercial projects like the renovations of office, and the construction of offices, colleges and large public buildings. He had also worked on a project to renovate a tube station in the late 1980s.

Despite extensive efforts, the insurers for the large building company could not be traced. A claim was also sent to the company he was working for on the London Underground project. It was disputed that Mr T was exposed to asbestos dust when he was a worker on the London Underground as he worked there relatively late, when they were supposed to have safety procedures in place.

The company was supposed to carry out asbestos surveys and remove the asbestos before the workers went on site. However, Mr T’s evidence was that he used to work at weekends when asbestos removal was being carried out. This, coupled with a detailed analysis of the defendant’s own documents which showed there was some asbestos present in a ceiling and a lift shaft which was removed when he might have been on site was enough to persuade the defendants to settle.

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