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Written by Martin Anderson

Boyes Turner’s asbestos–related disease specialists have settled an asbestosis claim against Kodak.

Robin instructed us, following his diagnosis of asbestosis, an asbestos–related condition that was affecting his breathing. We visited him at his home and took a detailed witness statement from him setting out his recollection of his exposure to asbestos.

Exposure to asbestos

He explained that he was exposed to asbestos when working for Kodak from 1961 to 1974, at their factory in Harrow. He completed an apprenticeship in bricklaying, before continuing to work as a qualified bricklayer. However, this was something of a misnomer, as he actually did all manner of maintenance work during his time there.

A couple of times a year, they would shut everything down in order that maintenance work could be done. During the shutdown periods, Robin worked in the boiler houses. He knocked down the old refactory brickwork and then replaced it. While he was doing this, laggers were all around him working on asbestos lagged pipes.

Firstly, they would remove the old lagging. They did this by hacking it off with hammers and chisels, which generated thick clouds of asbestos dust.

They then re – lagged the pipes. They tipped bags of asbestos powder into big tubs, filling the air with clouds of dust. They then mixed it with water and applied it to the new pipework. The boiler rooms had no windows and no ventilation. Robin was not provided with a mask and was not warned of the dangers of asbestos.

He also used to work on the roofs, which had corrugated asbestos sheets on them. He used to remove the old sheets by hitting them with a hammer until they came loose and then ripping them off. He then smashed them up into pieces and put them in a skip.

He then cut the new sheets to size with an electric saw, before drilling holes in them and fixing them to the roof. This process generated a lot of dust, which went over his hair, face and clothes.

Making a claim

We obtained medical evidence which confirmed Robin’s diagnosis of asbestosis and that it likely arose from his asbestos exposure during his employment with Kodak. The medical expert assessed Robin’s respiratory disability at 20%, of which 10% arose from his exposure to asbestos. The remaining 10% arose from other factors which were not related to his asbestos exposure.

We were subsequently able to negotiate a settlement of £60,000.00. The claim was concluded less than a year after we were instructed.

We are pleased to have assisted Robin with his claim and secured compensation for his asbestos related illness.

For more information about how the mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team can help you or your loved ones after diagnosis with an asbestos related disease, please contact the team by email on