British Rail has paid £60,000 in compensation to the family of a former Swindon railway worker who died from asbestos related cancer in November 2010.
Philip Smith of Medgbury Road, Swindon worked for British Rail for 26 years at its Swindon works and for much of that period was continuously exposed to asbestos.
He worked in the AE shop, at one time the largest workshop in Europe, where his job was to plaster white asbestos over steam boilers. Many of his work colleagues have already died from asbestos related illnesses.
His solicitor, Brigitte Chandler, a leading industrial disease lawyer and partner with Swindon law firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall and who has represented many hundreds of railway workers over the last 30 years, says Mr Smith became unwell two years before his death, which was caused by diffuse pleural thickening due to exposure to asbestos.
“There are still many people in Swindon who worked in the railway industry who are being affected by asbestos exposure,” she said. “On a more positive note, British Rail is now well aware of the problem and providing someone can show they worked there and were exposed to asbestos, many claims are now generally settled out of court.”
BRB (Residuary) Limited, the company with responsibility for the British Rail works in Swindon, settled Mr Smith’s claim out of court. Deaths from asbestos exposure are likely to peak over the next few years. Anyone suffering from chest problems who has been exposed to asbestos should seek medical advice.
“Unfortunately the area where Mr Smith worked was notorious for using large quantities of asbestos and there have been other deaths from employees working in the same area, added Brigitte Chandler.
“Claims against British Rail for asbestos exposure have been running for over 30 years. Even though the works were closed 25 years ago, cases are still arising because it can take up to 60 years for the illness to develop after exposure.”
The Swindon and South West Asbestos Group is a regional charity which provides support groups and a free advice service to people suffering from asbestos disease and their families.
They now offer home visits to sufferers in the Swindon area to advise on benefits available.
For further information contact Brigitte Chandler on 01793-511055 or email@example.com
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