An 85-year-old pensioner from the North East of England has won £50,000 from a previous employer after being diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma. |
Bernard Atkinson last worked for the Billingham-based Geoffery Robinson Limited from 1981 to 1995, and claimed to have suffered repeated exposure to asbestos during his time there. Atkinson said that he often removed asbestos lagging from pipes by "simply smashing it off... it was only after I had been employed by the firm for a number of years that we became aware of the dangers of working with asbestos and alternatives to asbestos-based insulation were introduced."
Atkinson was unfortunately diagnosed with mesothelioma in July last year, and was given less than two years to live. Mesothelioma is an incurable form of lung cancer, mainly caused by asbestos exposure.
The retiree's diagnosis prompted his damages claim. The company denied that it had exposed him to asbestos, and that even if it did, it was minimal and not in breach of duty. The company’s appeal was dismissed in court, and Atkinson is due to receive £50,000 upfront, with more to follow shortly.
The awful effects of asbestos exposure often take many years and even decades to show up, hence why so many cases like this one are only being brought to light now. Salvum hopes that such cases can be lessened in number in the future, as preventative measures like asbestos surveying become more standard practice.
Your organisation can ensure that its own working environment is safe with our asbestos management surveys, which involve minor intrusive work and only a small amount of disturbance, depending on the property.
Any building built before the year 2000 could contain asbestos. Asbestos does not have immediate fatal consequences, but becomes a danger when the fibres become airborne and are breathed in, which often occurs when work is being undertaken in a way that disrupts the fibres. You can’t see or smell asbestos fibres in the air, and those who are unfamiliar with asbestos may not be able to identify it.
For your utmost peace of mind, please contact our team and enquire about our Asbestos Surveying Services here at Salvum.
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