A woman is to receive £40,000 in compensation from the Ministry of Defence following her husband’s death from cancer – caused by his coming into contact with asbestos on board Government ships.
The woman, now living in The Algarve, Portugal, won her claim after her husband, died in February 2013 at the age of 83.
“Initially, the MoD tried to deny the man had worked for them and that they had lost all their records,” said Brigitte Chandler of Swindon law firm Charles Lucas & Marshall and one of the UK’s leading experts in asbestos-related claims.
“However, we received invaluable help from the archives of the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust Support Group which confirmed his employment details.”
The man worked at Portsmouth Dockyards between 1944 – 47 when asbestos was widely used in the construction of ships. He was employed as an apprentice naval shipwright which meant he was on board MoD ships when asbestos was being stripped from pipes.
He also worked in the dockyard during the war when ships were coming back heavily bombed, exposing workers to asbestos.
“The claim was settled by the MoD as it is well aware of the dangers of asbestos,” said Brigitte Chandler. “The dangers have been known since 1900 and since then there have been almost annual reports, warning of the dangers of asbestos but they were not acted upon. The man was given no protective clothing or equipment.”
“Unfortunately, asbestos disease can take up to 60 years to develop,” added Brigitte Chandler. “The number of asbestos deaths among dockyard workers is rising and is expected to peak over the next few years. Anybody who has had exposure to asbestos and developed respiratory problems should seek urgent medical advice.”
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.
For further information contact Brigitte Chandler on 01793 511055 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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