Contact us to arrange your
FREE initial consultation

Email us Call me back

Mick died from mesothelioma aged just 78 in December 2010. He left behind a wife, who very sadly only survived him by six months as she herself was suffering from cancer. The daughters contacted us just a few months before the deadline for issuing the claim in the Court (December 2013). 

Previous solicitors

During his lifetime, Mick had contacted another firm of solicitors. He had made a very brief statement saying that he was exposed to asbestos when working alongside laggers on the construction of Aberthaw A Power Station in the mid to late 1950s. Mick was employed by a company known as John Morgan (Builders) Limited but unfortunately that company was dissolved in June 1986. Although we managed to trace some insurers for this employer for the correct period of employment, the insurers maintained that the insurance covered specific contracts  which did not include Aberthaw A Power Station. Mick had not mentioned any asbestos exposure when working for Fram Filters Limited, a company he worked for in later years. However, the daughters believed that he had been exposed to asbestos whilst working for Fram Filters Limited as well as when working on the construction of the Power Station.

The previous law firm abandoned Mick’s case on the basis that John Morgan (Builders) Limited could not be sued.

Court proceedings

The claim needed to be issued in the Court as the three year time limit was fast approaching. Proceedings were therefore issued protectively against the CEGB, successors to the occupiers of the Power Station, and the successors to Fram Filters Limited, who were now known as Sogefi Filtration Limited.

We obtained several supportive witness statements from former colleagues at Fram Filters Limited and also from people who worked on the construction of the Aberthaw A Power Station.

Exposure at Fram Filters Limited

Mick was employed by this company for about 40 years as a machine setter at their premises at the Llantrissant Trading Estate from 1961 onwards. 

One witness believed that the roof of the building on the Llantrissant Estate was made of asbestos corrugated roofing sheets. At some point during the 1980s, a heating system was installed which included large gas heaters. Approximately 20 or 30 heaters were installed around the plant, most of them being put into the asbestos corrugated roof. Contractors were on site installing them whilst the witness and Mick were working underneath. The witness also reported that pipe work was lagged with asbestos which crumbled when touched and produced dust. The lagging was in poor condition and was swept away by other employees.

Another witness reported that compressed air lines were used to blow asbestos dust and debris from the pipes and roof during “shutdown” periods. There were also hoovers which were used to suck up asbestos dust. The hoovers were attached to fork lift trucks to reach the high up areas that the workers could not manage.

Mick also used blue asbestos paper. He used a crimping machine to crimp the paper which was then cut with a band saw to whatever length was required. At no point were Mick or the witnesses provided with any protective equipment against the dangers of asbestos.

Disclosure about Aberthaw A Power Station

We were concerned about the viability of the claim against the successors to the CEGB, who were in control of Aberthaw A Power Station. From our knowledge of the construction of Aberthaw A Power Station, we were concerned that the CEGB were not strictly “in control” of the premises during the years that Mick described his exposure to asbestos in the witness statement that he made to the previous solicitors. The successors to the CEGB were ordered to disclose documents in their possession which confirmed that they were not strictly in “control” of the premises at Aberthaw A Power Station until 1960/61, which was approximately 12 months after Mick left the site.

Asbestos surveys from Fram Filters Limited/Sogefi Filtration Limited

Fram Filters Limited were also required to disclose any relevant documents that they held. This included asbestos surveys from recent years. The survey revealed that asbestos was still press in the most recent survey, the implication being that the asbestos present in the 1960s would have been at least at the same level, if not at a greater level. One would expect the premises to be much safer in recent years. We obtained a positive engineering report and the case proceeded to trial.

Settlement

Sogefi Filtration Limited/Fram Filters Limited finally made an offer to the daughters to settle the claim and it settled at full value in the summer of 2015.