We were instructed to act on behalf of Mr B in respect of a claim for compensation arising out of his diagnosis of pleural thickening.
Mr B was employed by Benham & Sons Limited (which subsequently became Alpeninox Refrigeration UK Limited) between 1967/68 to 1971/72.
He undertook an apprenticeship in pipe fitting and welding. He worked on new builds and also repair work and it was mostly during the repair work that he was exposed to asbestos when he had to remove old asbestos lagging from pipework. He did this using a hammer and would smash it off which caused lumps to fall off onto the floor and the area around where he was working. Often there was chicken wire underneath the asbestos which he removed with snips. He also worked in close proximity to laggers who mixed raw asbestos with water to form a paste before applying the same by hand.
In addition, he worked with a fitter on old office blocks descaling old boilers and hot water calorifiers. The boilers were old and sealed with friable, old asbestos rope which he had to remove before then breaking the pipe flanges which had asbestos gaskets in them. The water calorifiers had asbestos lagging all around them which he had to remove to gain access to the inspection panel.
Mr B was later employed by The London Borough of Southwark between 1979/80 to 1989/90.
He was employed as an assistant plant engineer and he was responsible for the heating systems at various housing estates. He regularly had to remove asbestos from pipework for repairs to be undertaken. In addition, he worked on burst underground pipes approximately once a month which had to be excavated by a specialist firm before he and his colleagues could carry out the necessary repairs. Often the pipework was lagged with asbestos which he had to remove.
As a result of his asbestos exposure, Mr B developed asbestos related pleural thickening. Court proceedings were issued so that a timetable was followed by all parties and his claim was listed for a trial regarding the medical evidence and the value of his claim. It settled in the two days before the trial in the overall sum of £43,750 on a full and final basis.