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Pensioner’s estate to sue ministry of justice following Asbestos exposure

The Estate of a man who passed away from mesothelioma is to sue the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for compensation.

The man was a retired engineer who had worked for more than a decade in prisons where he was exposed to asbestos dust. He carried out general maintenance tasks which included working in areas where pipe work was being lagged with asbestos. He was not provided with any form of breathing apparatus and the areas were not sealed off to prevent his exposure to asbestos dust.

Prior to his diagnosis of mesothelioma in early 2013, the man had been fit and healthy, running marathons and coaching the local football and cricket teams. Unfortunately, despite palliative surgery, the man passed away surrounded by his family in early 2015. The medical evidence provided by the man’s lawyers says that his life was cut short by around 14 years.

At an inquest following the man’s death, the coroner held that it was “More likely than not, it was the asbestos that caused and brought about this terrible industrial disease.”

The man’s family is now suing the Government for damages but whilst the Government’s lawyers have admitted that they employed the man, they have denied that they exposed him to asbestos. The case is currently proceeding through the specialist asbestos Court.

Mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer which most commonly affects the pleura but can also affect the peritoneum. The latency period (time before onset of symptoms) is thought to be around 40 years but can be longer or shorter. In the latter years of the latency period, the victim will have the tumour growing inside them but will be unaware of its presence. Once diagnosed, the victim will have a median survival time of 9-12 months.

Johnathan Steventon-Kiy, specialist Industrial Disease, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Lawyer says,

“Asbestos was known for its robust fireproof qualities and was regularly used as a means of insulating pipe work in factories, boilers house, ships and other industrial areas. Sadly, a lot of workers were exposed to asbestos dust whilst in these areas or whilst passing through them. It is only decades later that the awful consequences of such exposure affects workers like this man. However, the reality is that the risks associated with exposure dust would have been known to his employer(s) at the time this man was exposed and it shows the level of neglect suffered by not only this man, but many others who carried out similar tasks to him”.

Johnathan Steventon-Kiy and the Industrial Disease team at Swain & Co Solicitors regularly win compensation for their clients who suffer from industrial diseases, including asbestos related illnesses. If you, a family member or a friend suffer from an industrial disease contact our team today on 02392 483 322.

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