A Doncaster family has received £70,000 in compensation from British Rail following the death of a former railway worker due to asbestos exposure.
The family brought the case after a post-mortem showed that Douglas Wattam, of Ivanhoe Road, Edenthorpe, Doncaster died from asbestosis in January 2012.
The settlement was reached out of court with British Rail agreeing to the £70,000 payment in respect of the pain and suffering endured by Mr Wattam, including nursing care and expenses incurred as a result of his illness.
The family’s solicitor, Brigitte Chandler, a leading industrial disease lawyer and partner with Swindon law firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall, who has represented hundreds of railway workers over the last 30 years, says Mr Wattam’s condition was only diagnosed after his death – despite his suffering from breathlessness for 13 years.
Mr Wattam joined British Rail in 1966 and became a coach builder in the carriage shop. Asbestos was widely used in the Doncaster railway works with blue asbestos sprayed on the inside of carriages. It floated in the air with workers given no protective clothing or warnings.
“A number of coach builders have died from asbestos exposure at the Doncaster railway works,” said Brigitte Chandler. “British Rail is now well aware of the extent of this problem and the fact that so many people who worked there have become ill.”
In the 1980s British Rail started to remove asbestos from coaches and some protective clothing was provided but to a limited number of workers.
Brigitte Chandler, who has been involved in many leading asbestos cases in the Supreme and High Courts said that anyone who had worked with asbestos in the railways and who develops chest pain or breathlessness should seek medical advice.
For further information contact Brigitte Chandler on 01793 511055 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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