Mr W worked as an apprentice coach builder for British Rail at their depot in Stratford, east London from 1954 to 1963, with a break of two years for his National Service. He worked on the construction of new coaches and the refurbishment of both old timber and metal coaches. He particularly carried out refurbishment of coaches on the old "green and yellow" line that ran to Shenfield in Essex.
Old timber coaches contained pipes for heating under their seats that were covered with asbestos insulation material. These pipes also ran underneath the floors of the carriages. Mr W would have to break into the insulation of these pipes to remove them. Once the pipes were removed, they and the lagging surrounding them were simply thrown to one side to be disposed of.
Metal coaches also contained asbestos insulation boards between the metal panels of the coaches for installation purposes. The metal panels had to be removed in order to gain access to the area surrounding and behind them. A metal hand grinder would be used to cut out some of the panels, but others were attached with rivets and these were drilled off. Once the panels had been removed, Mr W would lift out the asbestos boards behind them. The boards were removed easily but were so soft that they would break easily. The boards were generally tossed to one side to be cleared away at the end of each day.
All of this work created substantial amounts of asbestos dust and his employers took no precautions to protect him from this. They did not advise him that asbestos could be a risk to his health or advise him about precautions that could be taken to prevent him breathing in the asbestos dust and fibres.
Mr W became increasingly breathless from February 2014 and when this became severe he was sent for an x-ray in June 2014. He had further x-rays and fluid was drained from his lung the following month. He then had a video-assisted thoracoscopy in September and pleural biopsies were obtained . These were sent to the Royal Brompton Hospital for a specialist opinion. The specialist concluded that the features were atypical but suspicious of mesothelioma.
He continued to suffer from increasing pain and further fluid was drained from his chest. In December 2014 he was admitted for a CT guided pleural biopsy and the report from that concluded that the appearances were compatible with spindle cell mesothelioma. He was in a great deal of pain by this time and was referred for radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Mr W retired in 2003 but remained active and was employed part time in a family business until September 2014 when he had to stop because of attending various hospital appointments and his severe breathlessness.
He instructed Caroline Pinfold who saw him at his home in January 2015 and successfully settled his claim, including a claim for loss of his earnings, in June 2015 during his lifetime.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Fieldfisher has successfully been recognised as an "Occupation and Asbestos Disease Specialists" Fieldfisher are now recognised as assessors
Charities we support
£30m birth injury settlement for delays at Newham General resulting in cerebral palsy
Following approval at the Royal Courts of Justice in November 2018, Jane Weakley has settled a long-running birth injury case for more than £30m against Barts Health NHS Trust, concerning Newham General Hospital.
Landmark hearing could reveal vital background to asbestos epidemic
In the Supreme Court this Monday, 18th February, judges will hear an appeal that could result in important information about asbestos exposure in the UK made available to the public.
Jill Greenfield selected for The Lawyer Hot 100 2019
Head of Serious Injury sector Jill Greenfield has been included this year's list of top lawyers compiled by The Lawyer.
The complexities behind a wrongful birth claim
Jane Weakley discusses the emotional and ethical challenges of wrongful birth claims.
Bridget Collier leads Fieldfisher sponsored walk for Greater Manchester Asbestos Victim Support Group Charity
Fieldfisher represents parents of Yousef Al-Kharboush who died in ITH Pharma contaminated baby feed case