The family of a Scunthorpe man who died from lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos at work has received a significant amount of compensation from two of his previous employers.

The 82 year old went to see his GP suffering from shortness of breath. A chest x-ray revealed a shadow on his lungs which was diagnosed as cancer.

A nurse who was working at the hospital treating the Scunthorpe man referred him to the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team (DAST). He later contacted industrial disease specialists Thompsons Solicitors for advice.

Thompsons tracked down the liable employers and secured expert evidence

Thompsons tracked down the liable employers and secured expert evidence which showed that his levels of exposure to the dust were serious enough to have caused his lung cancer.

As a teenager, the man had worked for Northern Asbestos Ltd as an apprentice lagger where he was exposed to high levels of asbestos dust and only provided with a paper mask for protection.

He then served in the army until 1948 when he joined British Steel Scunthorpe as a maintenance fitter and a plater where once again he was required to work with asbestos lagging from pipework.

His two sons cared for their father as his condition deteriorated, he was left unable to walk far due to shortness of breath. As the cancer worsened he was transferred to a care home where he died in August 2011.

Neither company gave him information about the dangers of asbestos

His eldest son, commented: “Dad wanted to make sure he provided some financial security for me and my brother after he died. Neither company gave him any training or information about the dangers of asbestos or even provided him with the right levels of protection equipment. We continued with his claim after his death because he was adamant that someone should be held accountable for his diagnosis.”

Joanne Gordon from DAST commented: “Many industrial workers were not made aware of the risks they faced working in environments where asbestos was present.

“This case illustrates examples of employers who knowingly exposed their employee to asbestos dust without warning or training. I am pleased that his family have been able to conclude this case; industrial related injuries claims require specialist lawyers to track down the employers and prove they are liable decades after the asbestos exposure took place.”

Bringing negligent companies to account for industrial injuries

Marion Voss from Thompsons Solicitors said: “I am pleased to have been able to support the family through this difficult time. Bringing negligent companies to account for industrial injuries, especially in relation to lung cancer, is possible if you can demonstrate sufficient levels of exposure to prove asbestos as the cause.

“As a result of the detailed, meticulous investigation undertaken in the claim, we successfully identified insurers for Northern Asbestos, overcame some of the issues in dispute on the post-mortem evidence, and were able to secure substantial compensation for our client.”