Retired Electrician Mr L instructed Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors about lung disease caused by occupational exposure to asbestos.
He first suspected the link in 2014, when he was referred to hospital to investigate his shortness of breath and pain in his lower back and ribs. At first, Mr L was told that he had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), his doctor being unable to determine the cause.
It wasn’t until Mr L made a detailed list of his previous working conditions and prolonged exposure to asbestos dust that the full extent of his exposure history was considered by his doctors. The chronic lung condition, asbestosis, was then confirmed.
Mr L had worked for ICI’s chemical plant in Wilton for 26 years. During his long employment, he regularly maintained the plant’s machinery, lighting and other electrical equipment. In the process, he disturbed the asbestos-lagged piping which surrounded the electrics, causing the asbestos dust to become airborne in confined and poorly ventilated spaces. Mr L was not provided with any breathing protection, or training about the dangers of asbestos, and was unfortunately exposed to high levels of the deadly dust regularly.
Isobel Lovett, Head of the Asbestos department at Hodge Jones & Allen, took on his case and launched legal proceedings against ICI. They were unable to admit or deny liability at the first show cause court hearing, at which Mr L was awarded an interim payment. However, the judge in the case was satisfied that ICI had been negligent in failing to protect Mr L from the deadly hazard on the strength of Mr L’s detailed account of his working conditions.
Further medical evidence was obtained and through negotiations, the parties were able to agree a provisional settlement of the claim. A five-figure sum was subsequently approved by the Court.