David Coggill was diagnosed with diffuse pleural thickening decades after being exposed to asbestos at work
A former factory worker from Leeds has secured a provisional five-figure settlement after he was diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease, diffuse pleural thickening.
David Coggill, 58, was exposed to asbestos while working as a boiler maintenance man in Pudsey from 1978 to 1979. The boilers and pipework he serviced were covered in asbestos, which he would disturb as he worked, causing dust to float in the air and settle on the floor.
He would work in poorly ventilated areas and was rarely provided with protective equipment to stop him breathing asbestos dust.
After suffering severe breathing issues in 2013, he went to hospital for X-rays and CT scans. It was found that he had developed diffuse pleural thickening, years after he was last exposed to asbestos.
David said: “My breathing problems became so bad I had no choice but to go to hospital. My dad died of lung cancer so when I was told I had a shadow on my lung, I feared the worst.
“I used to enjoy doing DIY and gardening but now I need my son to help me instead. I get so short of breath that my doctors said I’m now classed as disabled. I’m fortunate that I’m still able to work in my current role as a security guard; I don’t need to do much physical activity. I’m worried that should my job change, my illness would prevent me from doing a lot of tasks.”
After his diagnosis, David contacted his union, UNISON, who signposted him to Thompsons Solicitors to support his claim.
"Workplace asbestos exposure continues to have life-altering consequences for families across the UK. The provisional settlement David has secured means that should his condition worsen, he can reopen his case for further damages, and as a UNISON member, he has no legal fees to worry about."
The grandfather of four continued: “I’m grateful to UNISON and Thompsons Solicitors, as this compensation gives me the financial security I wouldn’t have had before. I can’t recommend them enough.”
While many consider asbestos a thing of the past, it continues to cause devastating consequences decades on. It is still the single biggest cause of work-related deaths in the UK, causing thousands of deaths and serious illnesses. This number is expected to rise until 2020.
Asbestos experts at Thompsons Solicitors are highlighting the families and communities affected by asbestos in their #PastButPresent campaign.
Marion Voss, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Workplace asbestos exposure continues to have life-altering consequences for families across the UK. David was regularly exposed to this fatal dust during his working life, with no warning of the damage it could cause.
“The provisional settlement David has secured means that should his condition worsen, he can reopen his case for further damages, and as a UNISON member, he has no legal fees to worry about.”
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.