Asbestos laden pipes from old boiler houses

A North Yorkshire man has won a bid for compensation after he was exposed to deadly asbestos fibres as an apprentice.

Geoffrey Stead, 65, of Filey, has been awarded a substantial sum in compensation from British Rail after he was diagnosed with lung condition pleural thickening.

The condition, which has left Mr Stead short of breath, is caused by exposure to asbestos.

Mr Stead, a dad of eight and a grandfather of nine, is now a site manager for the Blue Dolphin Holiday Park in Filey. He was exposed to asbestos as an apprentice plumber while working for British Rail during 1956 to 1957 at various stations around Yorkshire.

He was just 16 when he was charged with stripping out asbestos laden pipes from old boiler houses. He was given no protection from the dust, which can often lead to lethal lung conditions like mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Leading Personal Injury Lawyers

He contacted Thompsons Solicitors, the country’s leading personal injury lawyers, to take up his case for compensation after getting in touch with Ridings Asbestos Support and Awareness Group (RASAG). The group, which is a registered charity, provides free advice and support to people and their families throughout Yorkshire who have been affected by asbestos.

Mr Stead said he did not know where to turn when he approached RASAG and is now pleased that they put him in touch with Thompsons.

He said: "When I decided to sue for compensation it was never about the money, it was about getting someone to say they were responsible for making me work in conditions that would damage my health in the future".

"I didn’t know where to begin in terms of finding an experienced lawyer, but RASAG were great in helping me to understand what my rights were and in putting me in touch with Thompsons Solicitors".

"Thompsons worked hard to get me a good result and now they have paved the way for me if I go on to develop further asbestos-related conditions to be able to claim more compensation".

"It is not about the money. It is knowing that if the worst does happen I can provide for my family after my death."

Tom Carden from RASAG said: "Sadly Mr Stead’s case is not unique. As an asbestos support group we are seeing a steady increase in the number of enquiries about asbestos related disease, with people having been diagnosed some thirty to forty years after their initial exposure. The passage of time often makes it very difficult to pursue a claim. We therefore move as quickly as possible to ensure that all sufferers have access to the best advice and information, completely free of charge, to ensure justice prevails."

York solicitor, Helen Tomlin, who is based at Thompsons Solicitors Leeds office said: "We are pleased to have won compensation for Mr Stead who was exposed to asbestos through the negligence of his employers. Unfortunately he is one of many people who have been exposed to asbestos in the past by British Rail to the detriment of their health in the future."

"At Thompsons we work hard to ensure that our clients get justice and proper compensation for their condition and so they can provide for their loved ones in the future."

Specialist asbestos team

Thompsons Solicitors won the first asbestos compensation claim in 1973 and has a team of dedicated lawyers who have unrivalled experienced in acting for clients with asbestos related claims.

The firm has been campaigning for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) to make a chemotherapy drug, Alimta, available on the NHS for people with asbestos-related cancer.