We acted for Richard in relation to his contraction of asbestos pleural thickening. Richard was an industrial painter and was exposed to asbestos as he followed behind laggers.
Asbestos exposure at AM Fenner Limited
Richard was employed by AM Fenner Limited from approximately 1956 to 1963/64 and again from 1969 to 1970. He followed behind laggers and was just a few feet away whilst laggers were mixing up asbestos powder with water and as they applied the asbestos paste to pipes. He came into contact with asbestos at the following Power Stations:
- Northfleet Power Station
- West Thurrock Power Station
- Belvedere Power Station
- Battersea Power Station
- Kings North Power Station
He painted the pipework that had been lagged with asbestos and he was also regularly in the vicinity of carpenters who cut asbestos sheets. Asbestos was also sprayed onto turbines when he was around.
Whilst AM Fenner Limited was listed as an active company at Companies House, it had in fact been restored to the register because its previous status was voluntary liquidation. This meant that there was no viable successor to meet the claim for compensation relating to AM Fenner Limited. However, we traced the employers’ liability insurers for the majority of Richard’s employment with AM Fenner.
Asbestos exposure at WJ Brooker Limited
Richard’s asbestos contact continued when he was employed by WJ Brooker Limited, again as an industrial painter. He was required to work at Tilbury B Power Station where he painted the steelwork and worked alongside laggers as they mixed powdered asbestos with water and applied to pipes and boilers. He continued to work in the vicinity of carpenters as they cut asbestos sheets and had no warnings about the dangers of asbestos and had no protection.
Similarly, WJ Brooker Limited was no longer in existence and could not meet any claim for damages. WJ Brooker changed its name to become Camrex Corrosion (Overseas) Limited which was then dissolved. Again, we knew the identity of the employers’ liability insurers for the entirety of Richard’s employment.
Pleural thickening claim
I instructed a medical expert who confirmed that Richard was suffering from asbestos related pleural plaques and diffuse pleural thickening as a result of his asbestos exposure when working for AM Fenner and WJ Brooker. He also suffered with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I asked the medical expert to give an opinion as to what percentage respiratory disability was down to asbestos related disease and it was his opinion that Richard had a 10% breathing difficulty due to pleural thickening out of an overall 15%. He had an additional risk of contracting asbestos related lung cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis.
Richard was receiving Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and had received a lump sum under the Pneumoconiosis Worker’s Compensation Act.
I served the Medical Report and Schedule of Loss which set out the financial losses that Richard has suffered on the insurers for Fenners and Brookers. They sought to argue that there was some further asbestos exposure when Richard was working for companies called Yeomans and Bromstone Paintings as he also undertook artexing. I believed that any asbestos contained within the artex would not have contributed to the contraction of his condition, the asbestos content of artex in that time being so minimal. I persuaded the defendants to accept this argument.
Issue of proceedings
The necessary Court papers were prepared for the issue of proceedings as negotiations with the defendants were not fruitful. However, the insurers for AM Fenner and WJ Brooker agreed to the formal Offer that I put forward to the defendants on Richard’s behalf. The claim was concluded from start to finish within 18 months without the need to issue Court proceedings.