Inhalation of asbestos dust causes mesothelioma
Mr Hoyos worked for Norwich Union Building Society from about 1969 until about 1996. He was employed by them at their offices in Cambridge from about 1969 until 1990.
Whilst working for the defendants, Mr Hoyos had to visit the filing rooms in the basement of the employer’s premises to retrieve files. There were boilers in the basement.
Mr Hoyos recalled service pipes running through the storage rooms, being mounted on walls or being suspended from ceilings, which ran a little above head height.
The employer’s files were kept in timber racking which was constructed close to the pipe work from the boilers. It was Mr Hoyos’ case that this working atmosphere was contaminated with asbestos dust and fibres.
In addition, the employer undertook substantial building works at the premises over a period of many months.
Mr Hoyos believed that those building works generated asbestos dust and fibre in the air which he inhaled as he went into and out of the premises.
Towards the end of 2003, Mr Hoyos began complaining of a throat or chest infection. In December 2004, he developed breathing problems.
He underwent investigations and drainage of the lung followed by a biopsy in 2005. As a result of that biopsy Mr Hoyos was diagnosed as suffering from mesothelioma.
A statement was taken from Mr Hoyos and from supporting witnesses who worked with Mr Hoyos at the Cambridge premises between about 1969 and about 1972, after which time the exposure effectively ceased.
Sadly Mr Hoyos died from his disease in August 2006. Mr Hoyos’ widow carried on with the claim. In September 2006, a few weeks after the death of Mr Hoyos, the claim was settled for £135,000 compensation. In addition, Norwich Union agreed to pay Mr Hoyos’ legal fees.