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Written on 20th June 2023 by Melloney Harbutt


Norris* worked for a company located in St Albans in the late 1950’s as a plumber. He did not serve a formal apprenticeship but was heavily exposed to asbestos whilst working in boiler houses removing lagging from pipework and then re-lagging pipework. Norris worked regularly on the maintenance side of the business where he had to remove lagging to give access to other trades and then replace the lagging thereafter. He used to cut the wire surrounding the pipework and used a hammer to break the lagging and then pulled it off. This was very dusty work and Norris could not escape the dust. He worked in an enclosed environment with no ventilation. After removing the lagging and undertaking the necessary repairs, Norris was tasked with re-lagging the pipework and did this by mixing up asbestos in powder form in a drum with water and mixing it by hand. He then applied this to the pipework and then placed wire on top and clipped this into place. Norris then swept up at the end of the day releasing more dust.


Norris was diagnosed with mesothelioma after experiencing a chest infection just before Christmas 2022. The chest infection seemed to return quickly even after a course of antibiotics. As a result of this, Norris had a chest x-ray and CT scan and the results suggested something was going on soon after. Norris then had a PET scan which confirmed his diagnosis of mesothelioma. He was admitted to hospital in order to have a biopsy however he had a reaction to the anaesthetic and was very poorly. The hospital decided not to proceed with the biopsy and his diagnosis was confirmed solely by the radiology.

The Claim

Melloney was instructed in January 2023 by Norris following his diagnosis of mesothelioma. Melloney took a witness statement from Norris and applied for his HMRC employment schedule. She completed insurance searches and realised very early on that there was no employers’ liability insurance in place when Norris was exposed to asbestos. Melloney therefore submitted an application for Norris through the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS) which was later successful. Norris was awarded a gross amount of £94,424 once all the relevant supportive documents were submitted.

*name anonymised for confidentiality

For more information about how the mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims team can help you or your loved ones after a diagnosis of an asbestos related disease, please contact the team by email on or by telephone on 0118 952 7199.