£9k compensation for 62 year old with pleural plaques

Compensation of £9,282 was awarded to a 62 year old man for pleural plaques caused by exposure to asbestos while working as a contractor over a 19 year period early in his working life.

Pleural plaques injury details

The Claimant worked as a plater in a shipyard between the age of 16 and 35, during which time he was exposed to asbestos fibres and dust.

The Claimant was diagnosed with pleural plaques at the age of 60.

The pleural plaques condition did not lead to any respiratory disability.  However, expert medical opinion estimated that the man had a:

  • 1% risk of developing pleural thickening
  • a 1% risk of developing asbestosis
  • a 3% risk of developing mesothelioma.

The man had never smoked which increases the likelihood of developing lung malignancy. However, as a result of the exposure to asbestos, the Claimant's life expectancy was still reduced by an estimated 9 months.  

In addition to the physical damage, the diagnosis exacerbated an existing anxiety condition.  Psychological effects are common as people often confuse pleural plaques with asbestosis or worry about the increased risk of developing asbestos related disease.

Allegation

It was alleged that the Defendants were negligent insofar as they failed to provide a safe working environment for the claimant and exposed him to asbestos.

The Claimant maintained that he had developed pleural plaques as a result of the Defendants' negligence.  He further maintained that his worsened state of anxiety could be attributed to the knowledge of the condition.

Case settlement and conclusion

The case was heard at Newcastle County Court by Judge Walton.

The Judge found in favour of the claimant at a court hearing.

The Court awarded compensation of £6,500 for 'pain and suffering and loss of amenity (PLSA) adjusted to £9,282.1350 for the projected Retail Price Index (RPI) for future care.