Our client, Mr Billington, approached Farleys’ personal injury team about the possibility of making an industrial disease compensation claim against his former employer.
Mr Billington is now retired but as a young man in the 1960s he worked for a manufacturer of insulation materials. Mr Billington had two roles at the firm in the three years he worked there.
Initially, he worked in the warehouse where his job involved loading and unloading dusty bags of asbestos fibre among other things. He then moved roles at the same employer to work in a production plant which produced boiler insulation out of asbestos.
During his years of working with asbestos, Mr Billington was never warned of the dangers of exposure to the fibres and dust nor provided with appropriate PPE. He would regularly be exposed to the toxic dust while moving bags around the warehouse and production plant which had a lack of ventilation.
After his employment at the manufacturing firm, Mr Billington had several more jobs where he wasn’t exposed to asbestos before he retired.
Some years later, Mr Billington developed a persistent cough. He attended his GP who referred him for tests and x-rays. He was initially diagnosed with acid reflux but when the cough persisted and was joined by breathlessness, night sweats and weight loss, he returned to his GP for further tests. X-rays revealed fluid in the pleura on his left lung pointing towards a diagnosis of mesothelioma.
In 2019, a biopsy confirmed that Mr Billington did, indeed, have malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by the exposure of the lungs to asbestos, though it can affect other organs too.
Following his diagnosis, Mr Billington was put on a course of chemotherapy to assist his symptoms; however; mesothelioma is incurable and has significantly shortened Mr Billington’s life expectancy to just 12 months.
Mr Billington instructed the personal injury team at Farleys Solicitors to act on his behalf in making a claim for damages against his former employer.
Farleys argued that Mr Billington’s former employer owed him a duty of care to ensure he was not harmed by the asbestos fibres and dust he had to work with on a daily basis. The team listed numerous ways the employer was negligent in the performance of these duties which included the lack of sufficient ventilation and the failure to provide PPE for employees handling and working with asbestos.
Our team successfully claimed nearly £300,000 in damages for Mr Billington.
Nick Molyneux, Partner in Farleys’ personal injury department commented,
We are pleased to have been able to recover these substantial damages for Mr Billington. While nothing can reverse the devastating consequences of the asbestos exposure, we hope this compensation will allow Mr Billington to access the care he needs to manage his symptoms and pay for any home adaptations needed to make him comfortable.
If you believe you have developed an industrial disease as a result of the negligence of your employer, please speak to Farleys’ personal injury experts about the possibility of making a claim for damages. Call 0845 050 1958 or complete our online contact form and a member of the team will get in touch with you.