Lawyers acting for the family of scaffolder Peter John James of Sageston, Tenby who suffered a premature and painful death from the asbestos cancer mesothelioma, have successfully secured over £200,000 against three of his former employers. The compensation was secured with the support of personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors.

Peter James died in April 2002, aged 54, leaving a widow and three children. He spent years erecting and dismantling scaffolding at Pembroke Power Station and at the oil refineries in Milford Haven working next to laggers who were removing and replacing asbestos lagging on pipes and plant. Peter James and his colleagues were exposed to the deadly dust on a daily basis with no protection.

The case was against Peter James’ three former employers from the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mills Scaffolding (now RMD Kwikform Ltd), Foster Wheeler and S M Scaffolding (now S G B Group) and settled for over £200,000.

Appeal for help from public with compensation claim

Back in November 2004, Thompsons Solicitors, the Western Telegraph and other local media publicised the case in a desperate attempt to trace Peter James’ former colleagues. As a result of the publicity, Thompsons received over 30 calls from people who either knew Peter or had worked in the same places at the same time.

Joanna Stevens from Thompsons Solicitors in Cardiff and Swansea explains: “A huge amount of extremely helpful evidence was produced as a result of the publicity around Peter James’ case back in November 2004. We even had an enquiry from Australia from a man who had come across the article on the internet. This helped to produce a very successful conclusion to the case and above all justice for the family. We’d like to thank the local community for their support throughout.”

Mr James’ widow Jean James comments: “Sadly nothing can bring back my husband and no amount of compensation can make up for his death. However we are relieved that those people who forced him to work in such deadly conditions have had to pay for what they did!"

Mesothelioma is a terrible terminal illness caused by employers' disregard for their workers' lives. Asbestos-related diseases will cause 10,000 deaths a year by 2010 and will be the biggest industrial killer of all time.