Office Worker exposed to asbestos is awarded compensation15 April 2008
Exposed to asbestos in his office
A former benefits officer has received almost £170,000 in damages after being exposed to asbestos in his office.
The granddad of two, who does not wish to be named, has been diagnosed with fatal cancer of the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and is often diagnosed in those who have worked in heavy industries.
The man, from Bury, was exposed while working at Prestwich Unemployment Benefit Office during the late 70s and early 80s.
He worked for the Department for Work and Pensions for 30 years before retiring in 2000.
Diagnosed with Mesothelioma
He said when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma he had no idea what it was. It was only when his consultant explained its causes that he knew he was exposed to dangerous asbestos dust while working at the benefits centre.
The claimant was given a letter from his department in 1984 saying asbestos had been found throughout his office. He had kept the letter all these years and it became integral in claiming compensation.
He said: “It was a massive shock to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. I had no idea what it was but when it was explained to me I immediately thought of this letter which was given to all members of staff.
“I feel quite angry now that they did not follow the letter up with a screening programme. They should have explained the consequences of what it meant to have asbestos in the building.
“I had no idea that this letter was really warning me that I could develop an asbestos related disease in the future. I never really understood its meaning.”
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.