£20,030 compensation for exposure to diesel fumes
Compensation of £20,030 was awarded to a 60 year-old male PSV fitter for illness caused by his exposure to excess levels of diesel smoke whilst working for a period of 5 years during his late 50s.
The claimant started working for Stagecoach Northwest in May 1998 when aged 55. Within a short period of time he began to develop a dry cough which got worse to the extent that his violent coughing caused him to vomit into the pits at work.
He took several periods off work before stopping work on the advice of his GP in September 2000.
He also had suffered from pneumonia and an injury to his shoulder neither of which were in any way related to the exposure to diesel smoke and his medical evidence accepted by the Court was to the effect that 50% of his disability in the last year of his employment was due to occupational exposure to the diesel smoke which was solely responsible for his illness.
The medical evidence was also that the symptoms would be permanent and that he would have difficulty obtaining employment because he would be unable to work in any environment where he would be exposed to dust or fumes and also unable to work in cold/damp conditions.
The Judge found in his favour and awarded £9,000.00 for his pain and suffering and loss of amenity and an additional £750.00 for handicap on the labour market and the balance represented his loss of earnings.
The Judge did however point out that he had reduced the amount of compensation for the pain and suffering because he would have suffered in any event by reason of the pneumonia which was not linked to his exposure to diesel fumes.