£168,000 awarded for cancer from workplace chemicals

Solicitors secured compensation of £168,000 for a 64 year-old man who suffered bladder-related cancer after exposure to industrial oils over many years at work twenty years earlier.

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Hazardous substances claims

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Case details

Injury details

From the age of 20 until 44 years-old the claimant worked for a car manufacturer. He worked in various roles on the production line. During his employment he was exposed to chemicals including industrial and carcinogenic oils. These were used as coolants during manufacture of motor parts.

The substances used covered many surfaces in the defendant's factory. Air would be thick with fumes from the oils used.

After working for 23 years at the plant the claimant noticed symptoms. He began passing blood. Bladder cancer was diagnosed. After two years of extensive treatment his bladder and prostate were removed.

The claimant set up his own butchers business after leaving the factory. His illness forced him to retire as he deteriorated.

Prior to his illness he had been fit and active. He was a father of four children. His condition meant he could not look after his children as he had before. He was unable to exercise or be active as he was before.

The claimant required care and assistance from others for the rest of his life. His health was permanently affected. His cancer could return in future.


It was alleged that the defendant was negligent insofar as they failed to provide a safe working environment.

The exposure to chemicals, specifically industrial mineral and carcinogenic oils, caused his illness.

The man's bladder and prostate were removed as a direct result.

He would require care and assistance for the remainder of his life. His cancer may return.

It was maintained by the defendant that the cancer was unrelated to the claimant's employment.

Evidence from chemical pathologists and toxicologists was used. This alleged the chemicals in the oils were absorbed by a number of methods.

The claimant alleged the mineral oils used had a history of being linked with various forms of cancer.

Conclusion and settlement

Liability was not admitted.

The defendant agreed to pay compensation to the claimant without admitting liability.

Compensation of £168,000 was accepted by way of an out of Court settlement.

No breakdown of damages was agreed.

Compensation included "pain, suffering and loss of amenity", loss of earnings and care needed.

Read more: work accident compensation claims

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