The former welder was exposed to asbestos during his career
A former welder who developed a serious long-term lung condition after working with asbestos at workshops and power stations in Derbyshire has received £36,000 in compensation after turning to Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors for help.
The 84-year-old was employed by a manufacturing firm between 1959 and 1963, and later worked for an electrical company from 1963 to 1976. Both roles involved the maintenance of pipework and boilers at power stations and the electrical company’s factory, which was heavily lagged with asbestos insulation.
He would work alongside laggers, who would remove old asbestos and mix fresh asbestos to re-insulate the pipework. This work would cause dust to fill the air and settle on the Unite member’s surroundings. In his first job, he would even lean on asbestos blankets while welding to protect himself from the heat. By the end of each day, his overalls would often be covered in dust.
After developing breathing problems he visited his GP, who suspected that he had developed an asbestos-related lung condition. A scan highlighted thickening of his lung tissue, which was confirmed to be caused by asbestosis.
He said: “During my 17 years at the two firms, I was never once told that the asbestos dust could severely damage my health. I would be filthy by the end of my shift because of the amount of asbestos present, but nothing was done to stop this. We were expected to just get on with it.”
Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors supported him in a compensation claim, securing a provisional settlement of £36,000. If his condition worsens, he will have the option to reopen his case to potentially secured additional damages.
“My diagnosis has made me worry about my future and how I can support my family if my condition deteriorates,” the Unite the union member added. “However, the settlement has helped ease my concerns, as I know that I have legal backing should the worst happen. If it wasn’t for Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors, I don’t think I would have ever been awarded the compensation, so I am extremely grateful for what they have done.”
Kevin Hepworth, East Midlands regional legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “Asbestosis is a debilitating condition that can make everyday tasks challenging – from showering, to walking and just getting dressed. The thought that it could develop into something more serious, such as mesothelioma, can make sufferers feel helpless.
“Unite Legal Services is committed to empowering those who have been affected by asbestos disease, helping them to hold employers to account and enable them to secure compensation that can help support their families in the future. As Unite Legal Services take no deductions the member is at least £9,000 better off than if had used a no win no fee claim company.”
"If it wasn’t for Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors, I don’t think I would have ever been awarded the compensation, so I am extremely grateful for what they have done.”
Asbestos disease diagnosis? Talk to us for advice and support on how to secure compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can support you with advice on how to make a claim.
The process will be explained in plain English and with no obligation – our priority is to provide you with the best, expert advice on whether you have a valid case for compensation, and to signpost you to further sources of support.
There are strict time limits applied to making a claim – usually three years from the date of diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the exposure to asbestos took place – as it often does – decades ago, the three year time limit applies to the date of knowledge of diagnosis or date of death.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.