Kathleen Allcock worked for the Mond Nickel Co Ltd from when she left school at the age of 16 until about 1963. The Mond Nickel Co was based in Birmingham and carried out research into high temperature nickel containing alloys. It was a large building and there were various laboratories, rooms and offices which were arranged over 3 floors.
Kathleen and Donald
Kathleen was employed as a cashier and typist and her job involved calculating the wages and typing long detailed technical reports for the investigators.
Even though Kathleen was based in the office, she had to visit the laboratories and other rooms on a daily basis to give the typed reports to the investigators. The investigators were under pressure to develop alloys that could withstand very high temperatures for jet engines. The alloys were tested in furnaces that had to reach incredibly high temperatures and therefore the furnaces were in part insulated with raw asbestos powder and wool.
The furnaces needed to be replaced frequently and they were dismantled and built in the "Furnace Room". Kathleen met her future husband, Donald Allcock at the Mond Nickel Co. Donald was employed as a laboratory/technical assistant, part of his work was undertaken in the Furnace Room for a period of his employment. Donald said that because the raw asbestos powder and wool was used on a daily basis, "there were flakes of snow in the air and these flakes covered their laboratory coats, hair and skin". The employees often joked amongst themselves and called each other "Jack Frost" because they were covered in asbestos dust and fibres.
Kathleen visited the Furnace Room on a regular basis to deliver reports to the investigators. Kathleen and Donald said that the dust spilt from the Furnace Room and contaminated other parts of the building. Donald said that he was "working in a confined space which had no ventilation or extraction facilities".
As part of her job, this situation continued for 14 years until Kathleen stopped working in 1963 when she left the company to start a family.
Kathleen retired in 1993 and was enjoying her retirement. It was in about October 2013 when Kathleen became unwell and started attending her local hospital for investigations. Then in April 2014 she was given the devastating news that she was suffering from an asbestos related condition, mesothelioma.
Kathleen contacted Fieldfisher in September 2014 and the claim was reported to her former employer which was still an active company. The company denied liability and said that Kathleen would not have needed to attend the Furnace Room in her role as a cashier and typist. Therefore court proceedings were issued in August 2015 and in November 2015 the company advised that they did not have any evidence to dispute Kathleen's evidence. Shaheen Mosquera settled Kathleen's claim in January 2016 for a six figure sum.
Kathleen and Don said:
"Fieldfisher were recommended to us and we are so pleased that we accepted. From start to finish, we could not have asked for a better service"
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