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Written on 21st April 2020 by Melloney Harbutt

We have recently settled a case for the family of a former plumber employed by Walsall Corporation/Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council in the 1970s. The gentleman had sadly died from mesothelioma in June 2018, having been diagnosed with the asbestos-related lung cancer just 2 months before his death.

We were only instructed following his death and relied on family members to give us information about how he was exposed to asbestos. The family told us that the gentleman worked on domestic council properties undertaking repair and maintenance work. A lot of the work he did was end of tenancy maintenance work to tidy up properties before new tenants moved in. 

As a result, he regularly came into contact with asbestos whilst working on boilers, on pipework, up in the attics on water tanks, in cupboards and under the floorboards. 

The area he worked in was regularly subjected to vandalism and theft and asbestos was disturbed by this activity. The gentleman had to undertake the repair and maintenance work following this and was exposed to asbestos as a result.

We approached Walsall Council to start the claim and instructed a medical expert to comment on whether his premature death was caused by his asbestos exposure. The Council admitted that they had negligently exposed him to asbestos. 

The medical evidence confirmed that the former plumber had been exposed to asbestos while working as a plumber for Walsall Corporation / Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council. It also confirmed that he regularly came into contact with asbestos during this employment and that this exposure had caused the development of mesothelioma and his premature death.

The medical expert noted that the gentleman had never smoked and that he had developed symptoms of mesothelioma just 9 months before his death. The gentleman had always been very independent and lived at home alone but when he became unwell from mesothelioma he required increasing care from his family, suffering from significant pain in his final weeks.

Compensation has been agreed for the family for his premature death from mesothelioma and we are delighted to have been able to assist.