Thompsons Solicitors has recovered a six figure sum in compensation for the family of Mr Philip Gibbon who died in January 2005 as a result of mesothelioma, an asbestos related disease (ARD).  Mr Gibbon developed the disease whilst working as a shop fitter and joiner for William Nicholson & Son (Leeds) Limited and William Nicholson and Son Limited between 1966 and 1974.

Mr Gibbon worked in a factory environment where asbestos sheets were cut using a machine saw.  The process caused substantial quantities of asbestos fibres and dust to rise up into the atmosphere and into the breathing zone of Mr Gibbon.  He was not provided with any respiratory protection and as a result was exposed to asbestos dust which resulted in his illness.

Poor protection of employees

Speaking about her husband, Mrs Margaret Gibbon said: "Philip died at the age of 60 at a time when he should have been looking forward to the remainder of his life.  Instead he endured terrible illness for a year, suffering chest pains, debility and the need to depend on me and others.

"Nothing can bring back my husband, but people do need to be aware that this disease is a major killer and many more cases of it exist because of poor working conditions and the poor protection of employees.  If families are in the same situation, they should seek support and help as soon as they can."

No known cure for mesothelioma

The family's solicitor, Marion Voss, said: "Mesothelioma is a devastating disease for both victims and their families for which there is currently no known cure. Although research is currently ongoing in an attempt to find better methods of treatment and hopefully a cure for this terrible disease, for those victims recently diagnosed the outlook is, unfortunately, very bleak. All of this is due to the fact that employers failed to take the necessary safeguards to protect their workers from the effects of asbestos dust.  In the last year we have been instructed by a significant number of clients suffering from a variety of asbestos related diseases including mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening, pleural plaques and asbestos related lung cancer. We are definitely seeing an increase in the numbers of clients with these diseases.'

"As a solicitor specialising in asbestos claims my aim is to obtain the best possible financial settlement for my clients.  All of my clients stress that they would much rather have good health than monetary compensation. However, without adequate compensation, families whose loved ones are affected by this dreadful disease often struggle to cope."

Advice for victims of asbestos related disease

"Mr Gibbon's case is by no means unique," explains Tom Carden, spokesperson for the Ridings Asbestos Support & Awareness Group (RASAG) who advised Mr Gibbon on his entitlement to social security benefits and his entitlement to other payments from the Government.  "Mr Gibbon and his family hoped we could offer some information and possibly a cure for mesothelioma.  Although we provided Mr Gibbon with information about possible treatment, we were unable to advocate any one particular treatment as sadly there simply isn't a cure for Mesothelioma. The treatments that are available merely offer a limited life extension and can be dependent on the patient's current health.

"We are seeing more and more mesothelioma cases in workers like Mr Gibbon, people who have worked in industries such as joinery and shopfitting, which you wouldn't necessarily associate with asbestos exposure."

RASAG can assist all sufferers who have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease. The Group provides impartial advice with regards to entitlement to social security benefits and other payments. The Group can also advise sufferers about the latest treatment options for mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.

RASAG can be contacted on 0113  231 1010.