Asbestos dust blew out of factory and into the street
UNISON, the UK's largest public sector trade union, has won substantial compensation for the family of George Dickerson, who died after being exposed to asbestos as a child.
George developed mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung, after playing in dust which blew out of the Cape asbestos factory in Barking. The disease lay dormant until 2006, and George died in August that year, leaving his wife Shirley, daughter Jane and two grandsons.
Before he retired George worked with adults with learning difficulties and was a member of public sector workers' union, UNISON.
Linda Perks, UNISON Regional Secretary for London, said: "It is shocking that Mr Dickerson died as a result of playing in the street as a young child. UNISON was pleased to support his claim, as Cape needed to take responsibility for the devastating effect of the asbestos dust.
"This compensation will never make up for the loss of a husband, father and grandfather, however, we hope it will be a comfort to Mr Dickerson's family to know that Cape has been held to account."
Exposed to asbestos as a child
George's daughter, Jane Jones, said her dad was angry that he was exposed to asbestos at such a vulnerable age. She said: "As soon as he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, he knew it had been caused by playing with the asbestos when he was a child.
"He was angry about it because nothing was done to protect local residents from the asbestos. He wanted to make people aware about the factory's negligence and he wanted the owners to take responsibility.
"Mesothelioma is a terrible illness that no one should ever have to go through or see what it does to someone they love. There may well be many people throughout the local area who are living with the condition. My father's case proves that you do not have to work with asbestos to be affected.”
Ann-Marie Christie, client representative at Thompsons Solicitors, who took the case for UNISON added: "This case shows how the negligence of the asbestos industry not only affects their workers, but also those who lived nearby asbestos factories.
"Mr Dickerson suffered a painful and degrading terminal illness because, as a child, he played outside his home; something all children should be able to do safely."
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.