£18,500 awarded for silicosis

A 74 year-old male was awarded £18,500 compensation for silicosis from his previous employers due to the harmful effects of mixed dust silica.

The Claimant had for 30 years been employed by the Defendant as a shotblaster. By reason of that employment, the Claimant was working on wheelerbrator machines in a foundry in which there was a good deal of mixed dust silica.

This continual exposure to the silica caused the Claimant to contract silicosis.

Silicosis which is the name of the disease caused by exposure to sand dust in particular affected the Claimant's breathing and also resulted in basal cracking and textural changes to his lungs.

Decision and award

At trial, the Judge had to consider how much of the symptoms were caused by his exposure to the dust silica and how much were resulting from the fact that he had been a heavy smoker since childhood.

Having heard medical evidence submitted by experts by both the Claimant solicitors and the solicitors instructed by his previous employers, the Judge concluded that the Claimant had a 50% disability of which one quarter was due to the smoking and the rest to his exposure to the dust silica whilst at work.

The Judge also accepted evidence that this disease would not affect his life expectancy.

As to the award itself on today's figures that would represent a sum just in excess of £31,000.