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Mesothelioma victory in Supreme court

A judgment has been handed down today in the Supreme Court which is important for all workers exposed to asbestos in power stations. Between 1954 and 1959 Percy McDonald was employed by a firm and was required to attend Battersea power station occasionally as part of his job, which was to collect pulverised fuel ash. He ventured into other parts of the plant where asbestos dust was created by lagging work. From this exposure  he eventually contracted mesothelioma in 2012 and sadly passed away in February 2014.

It was argued by National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc, who now own the power station, that Mr McDonald was no more than a "casual visitor" when he visited the areas where the lagging took place, and questioned whether they were liable for his suffering as he wasn't employed by the occupier of the power station when he came into contact with the dust, and was not employed to do the mixing work himself.

The Court has found that Mr McDonald was owed a duty whether or not he had been employed directly in lagging processes involving asbestos.  They have further found that he was owed a duty even though he was no acting in the scope of his employment when he was exposed to the asbestos dust. They further found that regulations in place at the time were not confined to the asbestos industry, but any defined process involving asbestos carried on in the workplace.

As a result of these findings, National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc were to pay Mr McDonald's family damages even though they did not employ him at the time.

Peter Williams, Head of Asbestos and Mesothelioma Claims with Fieldfisher, says: "This sensible judgment from the Supreme court is to be applauded. It shows that the privatised electricity companies cannot escape their responsibilities to those visiting power stations then run by the C.E.G.B where there was exposure to deadly asbestos dust.

"Working men now suffering from asbestos cancer as a result can now claim compensation against them as occupiers of the power stations.

"As solicitors with over 30 years' experience in mesothelioma claims we at Field Fisher have many current clients who this will benefit."

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