£169k compensation awarded for contracting asbestosis
£169,000 was awarded for an asbestos related compensation claim to a 58 year old man who suffered pleural thickening as a result of exposure to asbestos at work in the 1960's.
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The man developed pain in his ribs and shortness of breath when working as a postman aged 53. Medical investigations and X-rays were done, confirming a diagnosis of pleural effusion on his lungs.
He was admitted to hospital for five days for treatment. The effects of this left him housebound for a month.
After this time he continued to suffer pain and was unable to return to work for six months.
The claimant returned to work on light duties but he could not carry on. His employment was terminated on health grounds a month later.
The effects of the illness meant the man had to take at least eight painkillers a day. His sleep was broken as he woke during every night because of the pain.
Often he was breathless from the lightest of activities. Prior to the illness he had been active but the breathlessness severely limited his everyday life.
As well as his physical symptoms the claimant became anxious and depressed. He worried about his illness becoming more serious.
He developed alcohol dependency problems as a result of the anxiety and depression.
The physical and psychological problems caused by his illness meant he felt unable to work in any capacity.
It was alleged that the claimant's employer had been negligent in exposing him to asbestos during his working life.
The employer failed to comply with statutory duties putting the claimant at risk of illness.
The man experienced pain and suffering as a result of his illness. He also suffered anxiety and depression which it was alleged caused his alcohol dependency.
It was maintained that he was unable to work as a result of his illness. His anxiety, depression and alcohol dependency were alleged to be caused by the illness.
The claimant was at a significant risk of the condition worsening. He was more likely to develop mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis as a result of his exposure.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was admitted, but the amount of compensation was disputed.
The Court awarded compensation of £169,000.
£30,000 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity".
Past losses plus interest totalling £44,584 was awarded, as well as £62,189 for future loss of earnings.
A further £25,083 was awarded for loss of his occupational pension.
To compensate for future care needed or help with DIY, the claimant was awarded a further £7,406.
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Handled with the utmost professionalism... extremely kind, courteous and empathetic.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.