A Norfolk man has received more than £20,000 in provisional compensation after being diagnosed with pleural thickening

Paul Retallick, 65, worked as an inspector for an asbestos manufacturer between 1969 and 1971, where he would inspect and cut boards made of asbestos materials. 

There was an extractor fan under his work station that would remove some of the dust created but no other forms of ventilation in the factory. So when several members of staff were cutting at once the dust would circulate in the air around him and settle on his clothes, skin and surrounding surfaces. Paul’s employer never warned him of the dangers of working with asbestos.

"His settlement means that, should his condition deteriorate, we can support him with reopening a compensation claim, to ensure Paul is able to afford any further treatments or provisions he may need."

Steve Fitzwalter
Specialist Asbestos Solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors

“At times, the amount of dust in the air was ridiculous,” Paul said. “When the dust settled it would cover the entire factory floor. It would make my dark blue overalls appear stone-washed by the end of the day. The dust was that dense.” 

Paul had suffered with breathlessness for several years, which he had originally thought was caused by a nasal problem. Following a visit to his GP for an unrelated issue, however, he was advised to have a scan of his lungs at a local hospital. A consultant at the respiratory clinic performed further tests and found a shadow on his lung, which was later found to be diffuse pleural thickening – an asbestos-related condition.

“There were a load of us that joined the firm when we were just 18, so I dread to think whether they have been affected and if they are suffering like I am. If they are, I would urge them to get in touch with Thompsons Solicitors immediately. If I hadn’t done that myself, I would not have known of the excellent legal support that Thompsons can provide.”

Paul Retallick, Thompsons Solicitors’ pleural thickening client
Paul Retallick, a Thompsons Solicitors client that has developed pleural thickening.

He turned to Thompsons Solicitors to make an asbestos disease compensation claim, and has also been supported by the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team. The compensation claim settled for £20,115 on a provisional basis, meaning he can reopen his claim in the future if he develops a more serious asbestos conditions, such as mesothelioma

Paul said: “I never once saw my employer take account for the air quality and we weren’t advised on the issues that breathing asbestos can caused. The only breathing masks we were given were so uncomfortable that no one would wear them.

“There were a load of us that joined the firm when we were just 18, so I dread to think whether they have been affected and if they are suffering like I am. If they are, I would urge them to get in touch with Thompsons Solicitors immediately. If I hadn’t done that myself, I would not have known of the excellent legal support that Thompsons can provide.”

Steve Fitzwalter, of Thompsons Solicitors, added: “The diagnosis came completely out of the blue for Paul, but it is important that it was spotted before it could develop into something more serious.

“His settlement means that, should his condition deteriorate, we can support him with reopening a compensation claim, to ensure Paul is able to afford any further treatments or provisions he may need.”