72 year old Dominic was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer, in April 2008 and his condition deteriorated rapidly. He died in May 2008. Prior to his illness, Dominic had been a very fit and active man. He enjoyed ballroom dancing and tended to his garden regularly.
Dominic worked for Epsom and Ewell Council for almost twenty years as a refuse collector and was required to collect asbestos sheets and break them up. Many of the houses in the area he worked were built in the 1930's and many had small garages and outhouses with asbestos roofs. Dominic was never advised not to collect corrugated asbestos sheeting when he carried out his rounds. He was regularly exposed to asbestos dust which subsequently caused his condition.
Dushal Mehta, who acted for the family, said 'I believe that this is one of the first cases of its kind where a local Council has been found liable for exposing their refuse collectors to asbestos dust in the late 70's and early 80's. By then, it was widely known that asbestos dust was dangerous and that anyone working with asbestos should be given the proper protection. The Council were aware of the dangers, but did nothing to protect their employees '.
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