June 15, 2023

Family of former erector/engineer receive compensation following death from asbestos-related lung cancer

Posted in Mesothelioma

Our specialist asbestos claims team were contacted by the daughter of Mr M, following his death from lung cancer in April 2021.

Mr M was admitted to hospital in April 2021 for other health issues when he was advised he had lung cancer. Sadly, the cancer had already spread and his condition deteriorated very quickly.

Mr M had worked at the British Railway Works in Swindon from the early 1950s. He completed an apprenticeship as a fitter, turner and erector. His apprenticeship lasted 5 years and he subsequently worked as a locomotive erector.

Mr M's brother had also worked at the Railway Works and was able to provide detailed information, confirming that asbestos was extensively used. Mr M’s brother even recalled how some would make ‘snowballs’ from raw asbestos which would be thrown around.

Asbestos lagging was present on the pipes and boilers of locomotive engines, which underwent a constant stream of repair. In order to complete repairs, the lagging had to be stripped off, releasing asbestos dust and fibres into the air. The pipes and boilers then had to be re-lagged once works had been completed. Raw asbestos was mixed with water to form a paste which was applied. This was very dusty work. Mr M's brother confirmed that as a locomotive erector, Mr M would have handled asbestos lagged parts and remove lagging if it had been applied in areas it should not have been.

Mr M's brother confirmed they were never warned of the dangers of asbestos nor provided with any protective clothing or equipment.

Mr M subsequently joined the Merchant Navy, initially as a Junior Engineer later progressing to a Certified Engineer. During this time he was employed by a number of companies. Again, engines were lagged with asbestos, as were most of the pipes. Mr M’s job involved carrying out repairs to any machinery, boilers or pipework and he would have been in the vicinity whilst labourers were removing asbestos lagging. Mr M also worked on the funnels which were lagged with asbestos.

Throughout his time in the Navy, Mr M was not warned of the dangers of asbestos nor provided with any protective equipment.

Mr M also worked for Garrard Engineering. Mr M's brother recalled a conversation where Mr M had told him about discovering some asbestos.

Our specialist asbestos disease claim took a detailed witness statement from Mr M’s brother and intimated claims against the defendants, their predecessors and/or insurers that could be traced.

Given Mr M worked for and was exposed to asbestos with a number of employers, steps had to be taken to determine the extent to which each company was responsible. There were also some companies for which insurers could not be traced.

Medical evidence was obtained in support of the claim and help quantify the claim.

The claim subsequently settled for a sum in excess of £80,000.

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