Firefighter compensated for asbestos cancer19 April 2012
Firefighter diagnosed with Mesothelioma
A former firefighter who was exposed to asbestos at work and recently developed mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, has received compensation with help from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
John Stone, 64, from Flixton in Manchester was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2011.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure for the disease which is often diagnosed decades after the initial exposure.
Mr Stone was exposed to asbestos whilst working as a fire fighter for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service during the 1970s.
Factories and Industrial Buildings where asbestos was present
He joined the fire service in 1974 and was often required to attend fires at factories and industrial buildings in the Greater Manchester area where asbestos was present.
He attended emergency call-outs to industrial buildings which had asbestos roofs and asbestos pipe lagging at Trafford Park including the Turners Asbestos Factory which was notorious for exposing hundreds of their workforce to asbestos.
During the early part of his career he attended many incidents without any protection against inhaling asbestos dust. Instructions to wear breathing apparatus were only issued sporadically despite the known asbestos risk.
Following his diagnosis he was advised by medical professionals to consider pursuing a claim for compensation. He instructed the FBU’s, lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors.
Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation
Thompsons made a claim against the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and obtained a substantial compensation award in an out of court settlement.
Mr Stone, who has three children and five grandchildren, and is receiving treatment said: “I’m remaining optimistic about my condition. At the moment I feel strong and I’m taking each day as it comes.
“Claiming compensation was never just about the money. I was advised to look into it and I’m glad I did. I’d rather have my health but this compensation now means I’ve been able to do some things I wouldn’t have done otherwise. I’ve also been able to help out my children and grandchildren. The biggest relief is knowing my wife is now financially secure for the rest of her life.”
Not adequately protected against the dangers of asbestos
Paul Fogerty from the FBU said: “We know that many firefighters would have been exposed to asbestos in the past when the use of breathing apparatus was not compulsory.
“We are pleased we have been able to help Mr Stone during this difficult time and would urge any other FBU members who suffer from asbestos related disease to get in touch as we may be able to provide free specialist legal assistance.”
Steve Dickens from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mr Stone did a job where he was saving lives but his employers put his life at risk by failing to ensure he was adequately protected against the dangers of asbestos. This compensation can never be a replacement for Mr Stone’s health but it will at least provide him with some peace of mind.”
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.