Peter Mansfield was employed as a tool maker at the research site in Dunton, Essex by the Ford Motor Company Limited from about 1969 until about 1989. He continued work for the Ford Motor Company Limited until he retired in 1998 but did not believe that he was exposed to asbestos after he transferred to the Ford Radiator Plant in Basildon in 1989.
Whilst working at Dunton he was part of a team carrying out research on prototype vehicles which were tested before they were put into production. Almost every vehicle required adjustments to the brakes and at least once every couple of months he was asked to make some adaptation to the brake pads which, in those days, contained asbestos.
The brake pads varied in size depending on the vehicle and the work varied depending on what the engineer was trying to achieve. Very often he was asked to make the brake pad thinner or cut it down. He did this on a grinding wheel in the workshop. The dust would fly up into the air when he was doing this and he could not avoid breathing in asbestos dust and fibres.
Sometimes he would be asked to cut holes in the brake pads for which he used a drilling machine. Another adaptation was to put a slot through the brake pad and he did this using a grinding machine. It would usually take around one hour to do these modifications and he was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres when carrying out this work over the course of 20 years.
The company did not provide him with a mask or any equipment to protect him from the asbestos dust and fibres. He was never warned about the possible risk to his health from the asbestos.
Mr Mansfield was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2014. He suffered greatly from the time of the diagnosis and passed away in September 2014.
The company initially denied liability but Caroline Pinfold achieved a successful outcome on behalf of Mr Mansfield's widow, Brenda, in September 2015.
Mrs Mansfield said
"I would like to thank you for your help and kindness dealing with this claim, during this very difficult period in my life. You have been compassionate and professional throughout, visiting me in my home and making me feel assured that matters were being handled satisfactorily. I know that we made the right choice in choosing Fieldfisher solicitors. No amount of money can replace Peter but it does ensure financial security for the future."
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