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Written on 26th March 2020

Boyes Turner’s asbestos related disease specialists have secured a settlement for a former factory worker with asbestosis and diffuse pleural thickening.

Mr J* instructed Boyes Turner’s specialist asbestos claims team following his diagnosis of asbestos related disease. He had been exposed to asbestos during his employment in the 1950s and 1960s with Universal Asbestos Building Products Limited, more recently known as Plumefern Limited, whilst working at their premises in Tolpits Lane, Watford and at Harefield and Uxbridge.

Extensive asbestos exposure

At the Tolpits Lane premises, Mr J worked in an area with machines which manufactured asbestos sheets. The sheets were slightly damp as they came off the rollers so Mr J would cut pieces out of the asbestos sacks to use as gloves when he handled the sheets. By the end of each working day he had asbestos fibres stuck into his hands.   

He was also exposed to asbestos whilst occasionally running the machines and from working in the area of the factory where asbestos sheets were cured. The cutting of the sheets, in particular, caused asbestos dust to be released into the air. Mr J also worked in the factory during the shutdown period, where he experienced further exposure whilst sweeping asbestos dust and opening up and cleaning asbestos from the machines. 

At the Harefield premises, Mr J worked outside, scraping tar from asbestos pipes which had been covered in pitch. This work created asbestos dust.

At the Uxbridge premises, Mr J was involved in packing parts made of asbestos, in particular, pipes and brackets, into boxes. He worked alongside others who were manufacturing and cutting asbestos and the factory was dusty from asbestos.

Making an asbestos claim

We set about investigating and gathering evidence to support Mr J’s claim. Medical evidence was obtained which confirmed that Mr J had a respiratory disability of 50%, of which 30% was attributable to his asbestos disease (20% to asbestosis and 10% to pleural thickening) and 20% unrelated to asbestos exposure.

We put the claim to the insurers for Universal Asbestos Building Products Limited, and when it became clear that an early settlement offer would not be forthcoming, we issued proceedings to avoid delay. Once proceedings were served, in accordance with Mr J’s wishes to settle his claim as soon as possible, we entered into negotiations with Universal Asbestos Building Products Limited’s solicitors and secured a satisfactory settlement before Universal Asbestos Building Products Limited’s defence was due to be filed at court.

We are pleased to have successfully concluded Mr J’s case.

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

*Names changed for client confidentiality