Boyes Turner’s mesothelioma specialists have secured a settlement for the family of a former carpenter and joiner, Mr Y, who died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.
The asbestos and mesothelioma claims team were instructed by Mr Y following his deterioration and diagnosis but prior to his premature death. Given his condition, we obtained an interim payment to meet his urgent care needs enabling him to be more comfortable in his final weeks. He passed away with the additional peace of mind that came from knowing that his claim would ultimately be successful.
Mr Y suffered heavy exposure to asbestos whilst employed between 1953 and 1979/80 as a carpenter and joiner. His work involved making cabinets, such as kitchen units, and doors for flats.
Each flat had a front door and a side door, both of which were constructed from wood which was then lined on both sides with asbestos insulation board. The asbestos board had to be cut to size to fit the frame. Mr Y recalled that the asbestos boards came in 8’ x 4’ sheets and he would use a circular saw to cut the panels to the right size before filing the rough edges. Once Mr Y had cut the asbestos board to the right size he would then drill holes in it, using an electric drill, and then the board was screwed to the wooden frame and plywood stuck onto it to give the door a finished appearance. There were usually 60-70 of these doors to be prepared in the workshop, so Mr Y might be working with asbestos on this task, for weeks at a time.
He also made linings for cupboards and dividers which had to be lined with asbestos to reduce the risk of fire spreading. The asbestos panels would be roughly cut to size in the workshop using a circular saw and then when Mr Y was on site he would file down the bottom or top of the doors so that they fit properly. When fitting out the cupboards he would also have to file the panels inside the cupboard and then drill them into place. He recalled that he did hundreds of these.
All these tasks released asbestos dust which he described as “awful”, covering him and the entire workshop, so that the air was thick with the dust and it was difficult to see.
When Mr Y was 80 years old, he developed drenching sweats and tiredness. Within nine months he had a pleural effusion and breathlessness. A diagnosis of epithelioid mesothelioma was confirmed and he underwent drainage and insertion of a catheter to manage his breathlessness. As his symptoms deteriorated he needed a full-time, live-in carer.
After Mr Y passed away, the personal representative of his estate instructed us to continue the claim against Mr Y’s former employers, which we concluded successfully once further medical evidence and details of financial losses were obtained.
For further information about claims for mesothelioma, please contact the mesothelioma and asbestos claims team by email at email@example.com.