£44,000 awarded for plant worker's emphysema | Case Study

Average compensation for various claims including emphysema of £44,000 was awarded to four claimants in a test case.

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Emphysema claims

Injury details

The claimants had put forward claims for COPD, emphysema, lung cancer, skin cancer and bladder cancer. The claimants were all employed at a coking plant.


It was alleged that the defendant was negligent insofar as they failed to maintain provide their employees with a safe place to work. The claimants alleged that they had all suffered from the various conditions as a result of being employed by the defendant.

The Court found that there was convincing evidence that diseases of the lung, namely COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer could be caused by the processes at the plant. However, there was insufficient evidence for the Court to find that, on a balance of probabilities, bladder cancer and certain types of skin cancers were caused by these processes.

Settlement and conclusion

The matter progressed to a Court hearing. Judgement handed down at the High Court has ruled that working at the former Phurnacite plant can cause diseases of the lung, including lung cancer.

The Court ruled that lung cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD including emphysema) could be caused by exposure to dust and chemicals at the former coke works.
Compensation averaging £44,000 each has now been agreed for four of the successful claimants.

183 claimants have registered as part of the legal action, with a total of 234 claims due to some claimants experiencing multiple conditions. The judgement given at the High Court will now be applied to the other claims in the group.

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