A Cheltenham family has successfully sued BAE Systems after their father died as a result of being exposed to asbestos at a Gloucester factory.
William Evans of Charlton Kings, Cheltenham died earlier this year from mesothelioma, a cancer almost always caused by asbestos. Mr Evans had worked for A W Hawksley Ltd, a subsiary of BAE Systems Pensions Funds Investment Management.
The company accepted liability and made a settlement of £92,000 to Mr Evans’ two adult children.
The family’s solicitor, Brigitte Chandler of law firm Charles Lucas & Marshall and one of the country’s leading specialists in asbestos-related law, said that many former workers in the building industry are now being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
“Mesothelioma can take up to 60 years to develop,” she said. “Asbestos was widely used in buildings after the war with workers often given little protection. As a consequence we are now seeing a rise in the number of people from the industry diagnosed with mesothelioma.”
Mr Evans worked for A W Hawksley in Hucclecote, Brockworth, Gloucester between 1947 – 1950. He worked in a large factory, manufacturing pre-fabricated houses in which asbestos was extensively used.
His job involved drilling into asbestos sheets. Mr Evans was given no warnings or protective clothing and wore ordinary cotton overalls which he took home to wash.
“These prefabricated houses were widely used as council houses at the time,” says Brigitte Chandler. “They are still in existence in some areas.”
In 2009 Mr Evans started to suffer health problems. The defendants accepted liability and that they had wrongly exposed Mr Evans to asbestos.
“Anybody who worked with asbestos in the past and is suffering from any sort of chest problem should seek medical advice,” says Brigitte Chandler.
A recent Health and Safety Executive report predicts that the peak in the number of people expected to die from mesothelioma will be next year – five years earlier than expected.
Many people may develop other asbestos illnesses such as asbestosis or pleural thickening of the lungs. Damages are payable for this and advice should be sought from a solicitor specialising in asbestos disease.
There is a regional charity that provides support and free advice to victims and families of asbestos sufferers. The Swindon and South West Asbestos Group can be contacted on 01793 813616 or firstname.lastname@example.org, www.asbestosgroup.co.uk
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