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Boyes Turner’s asbestos-related disease experts have secured a settlement for a former insulation engineer whose asbestosis accounts for 5% of his concurrent, COPD-related, respiratory disability.

Henry* was exposed to asbestos dust whilst he was working as an insulation engineer for Bernard Hastie and Co Limited. He worked for the company between January and November 1967, carrying out work on the insulation of pipes and boilers in basements and boiler rooms in refineries and other industrial premises. He had to mix asbestos with water to lag the pipes and boilers by hand. As he poured the sacks of asbestos fibres into the water this created clouds of asbestos dust which were released into the atmosphere. Henry would be covered in asbestos dust when he worked in the confined basements and boiler rooms, leaving him looking like a flour grader, he was so covered in dust.

Henry contacted Boyes Turner after he was diagnosed with pleural plaques and asbestosis. He suffers with significant symptoms of breathlessness, which have gradually been getting worse since 2005. In addition to asbestosis, Henry also has a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We obtained medical evidence from an asbestos expert who identified that Henry’s COPD causes the majority of his symptoms; he has a respiratory disability of 60%, of which only 5% is caused by asbestosis.

Our medical expert considered that Henry has only a 2% chance of his condition progressing. Any increase in disability would probably arise from the progression of his COPD. As Henry has also been a heavy smoker in addition to his significant exposure to asbestos dust, his risk of developing lung cancer is doubled to 10%. He also has a 5% risk of developing mesothelioma.

Given the complicating factor of his COPD, Henry opted to settle his claim on a full and final damages basis rather than claim provisional damages allowing him to return to court for further compensation in the unlikely event that he develops further asbestos-related disease in the future.

Boyes Turner put Henry’s case to the insurers of Bernard Hastie & Co Limited and, following some negotiation, settlement was agreed at £27,500. Henry’s settlement will enable him to purchase aids and equipment to help alleviate his suffering from breathlessness.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with asbestosis or any other asbestos related disease, we may be able to help. Contact us on 0800 884 0718 or email for a free initial discussion

*Client name changed for anonymity