Union member compensated after cancer diagnosis19 February 2013
Diagnosed with cancer of the lining of the lung, mesothelioma
Alan Garner from Thurrock in Essex was diagnosed with cancer of the lining of the lung, mesothelioma in June 2012.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and there is no cure for the disease, which can take up to 40 years to develop.
Mr Garner, who is married with one daughter and one granddaughter, was exposed to asbestos while working as a fitter for a Power Station between 1963 to 1993. His exposure to asbestos continued until the 1980s.
Never warned about the dangers of asbestos or provided with any protection
In the early days he was never warned about the dangers of asbestos or provided with any protection.
Following his diagnosis Mr Garner contacted his trade union, Unite, for advice. Unite referred him to specialist lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim.
The claim was successfully settled against the company which now holds responsibility for the power station’s liabilities.
Mr Garner said: “During the early years at the power station I was never told that the material we were working with was dangerous. Some members of management completely disregarded the health and safety protocols, exposing all of us to the dust.
“By claiming compensation I wanted to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos. The support I received from my union has helped me feel a sense that justice has been done.”
Peter Kavanagh from Unite the Union added: “Our members who have worked in the manufacturing, power generation and construction industry are among the highest risk of becoming victims of asbestos disease. Asbestos was banned years ago but its legacy of illness and misery has not gone and will continue for many years. Unite’s free legal service ensures our members and their families receive support and specialist advice when they need it.
Lorna Webster from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Mr Garner’s employers were well aware of the dangers of asbestos but continued to allow their workforce to be exposed. By contacting his union soon after he was diagnosed with asbestos disease he has received the compensation he is entitled to quickly and at no cost.”
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.