Mr Gillman stayed with the company for some 37 years during which time the company was taken over by Herberts and then changed its name to H P G Industrial Coatings Limited and lastly to Du Pont.
The site at Freshwater Road, Chadwell Heath, covered an area of maybe 2 acres. On this site the company manufactured domestic and industrial paint. Mr Gillman was employed as a maintenance carpenter and during his time with the company he was exposed to asbestos.
Mr Gillman's jobs included installing fume cupboards. These fume cupboards had a base made of a single slab of asbestos sheeting. These slabs were about ¾" thick and hard like cement. Mr Gillman would have to cut the asbestos sheets to size before laying them in the base of the fume cupboards. Using a powered saw he would drill holes in the sheets to allow for plumbing and pipework. He was never given any warnings. He was never provided with any mask. He was never told to take any precautions regarding dust exposure.
On this site there were also a number of areas of "cover" outdoors which could be used to store materials. The cover was often provided by means of "Big Six" corrugated asbestos sheeting. These roofs were often damaged through wind and sometimes by traffic and Mr Gillman undertook repairs and would replace the damaged sheets.
There were miles and miles of pipework at this chemical plant, much of which was, without doubt, insulated with asbestos lagging. Mr Gillman would help pipefitters to remove, repair and replace sections of pipework as needed. He would use a knife to cut through asbestos lagging and then pull it apart with his hands. Often he would clear up the resulting dust and debris.
In these ways Mr Gillman was exposed to asbestos. He started feeling unwell in February 2012 and underwent treatment at various different hospitals before he was diagnosed as suffering from mesothelioma.
Mr Gillman contacted Andrew Morgan, partner in the mesothelioma claims team at Fieldfisher for advice. Andrew confirmed Mr Gillman probably had a good case and went to see him at his home to take a statement and to give advice about compensation and about State benefits. Andrew obtained a Government lump sum payment for Mr Gillman within 6 weeks of first instruction. He tracked down all the companies who had employed Mr Gillman over the years at the Freshwater Road factory and made a claim against those companies. He instructed a medical expert to prepare a report on the medical records and was on the point of issuing Court proceedings for Mr Gillman when the other side made their first offer. Andrew was able to negotiate an increase to a level with which Mr Gillman was happy and the claim was concluded in a little over 8 months for the gross figure of £155,000.
Mr Gillman said he "would like to thank Andrew for his assistance in bringing this matter to a conclusion and for the advice and assistance given during this process, which is greatly appreciated."
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