£45,850 compensation for plumber with asbestosis
Compensation for an asbestos related claim of £45,850 was awarded to a 52 year old man for mild asbestosis and pleural thickening caused by exposure to asbestos while working over an 18 year period early in his working life.
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The claimant worked as a plumber. During two periods of work, the first 31 years earlier, he was exposed to asbestos.
He began showing symptoms aged 41, but these were attributed to an arthritic condition. Eight years later he was diagnosed with bilateral pleural plaques, bilateral pleural thickening and asbestosis.
His breathing was affected. He was diagnosed as having a 20% reduction on respiratory capacity. He found it difficult climbing stairs, walking any distance or carrying any heavy weights. These activities would cause him to become breathless.
His home life was affected. He was unable to play golf and could not take an active part in his home life with his wife as before. He developed anxiety about the future.
The condition was expected to worsen. He would become increasingly breathless as he got older. It was unlikely he would require nursing care but the effects would be noticeable.
The pleural plaques and pleural thickening were expected to remain stable. He had a risk of these deteriorating. His likelihood to develop mesothelioma or lung cancer was also increased.
The man would be able to work till normal retirement age with a small risk of having to retire early.
It was alleged that the defendant was negligent insofar as they failed to provide a safe working environment for the claimant and exposed him to asbestos.
The claimant maintained that they developed pleural plaques, pleural thickening and asbestosis as a result of the defendant's negligence.
Symptoms would cause a gradual worsening of his breathing to retirement age.
Settlement and conclusion
Liability was not admitted and the matter progressed to a Court hearing.
Compensation of £45,850 was accepted by way of a Court award.
£40,000 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
His ability to find work on the open job market was affected and compensation of £5,000 awarded.
The remainder of the compensation was attributed to miscellaneous expenses and interest.
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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.