Mesothelioma Claim Settled after Man Exposed to Asbestos by Employers
A man has made a successful mesothelioma claim after he was unwittingly exposed to asbestos by former employers, leaving him to develop symptoms of the deadly disease.
Wilfrid Craig, from Gateshead, had been suffering from a persistent cough and breathlessness prior to his diagnosis of mesothelioma in December 2008 and says his life has been 'torn apart' by the disease.
The 64-year-old now suffers from severe chest pain and breathlessness and has had to relocate to a hospice where he needs high levels of morphine to manage his pain. Mr. Craig is not expected to reach his 65th birthday.
Mr. Craig was not issued any respiratory protection during his apprenticeship at George Wimpey & Co where he worked as a joiner from 1962 to 1968 and as such he was awarded a substantial settlement for his mesothelioma claim.
Mr. Craig contacted mesothelioma experts at Irwin Mitchell solicitors following his diagnosis and instructed them to pursue a mesothelioma claim against Carillion Construction Ltd, who had succeeded the original George Wimpey & Co.
Mesothelioma solicitor Mr. Maddocks said: "Throughout Mr Craig's employment at George Wimpey & Co, and due to his position at the time, he was routinely tasked with duties which often involved working closely with asbestos without any form of protective equipment. This was a commonplace, but no less shocking, act of negligence – nobody should have been put in this position, regardless of seniority.
"Mr Craig is just one of the thousands of workers who have either been killed by, or are now facing, a devastating terminal illness because their employers did not take the necessary precautions to protect them against hazardous materials, when they either knew or should have known of the risks – unfortunately he is a relatively young victim of this painful, fast-acting and debilitating disease.
"Before his diagnosis he had planned to remain in full-time employment until his 70th birthday – however as a result of his illness he was forced to take early retirement from his role as a Managing Director in July 2009,"
Mr. Craig was frequently exposed to asbestos fibres during his role at George Wimpey & Co where he was responsible for making and fitting shuttering for manhole covers, cutting asbestos sheets, lining ducts and fitting cupboard doors with asbestos. These jobs left Mr. Craig’s clothing covered in asbestos dust and fibres, meaning that he would frequently inhale the deadly fibres.
The insurance company initially denied the claim, saying that the levels of asbestos dust were within safety limits and would not admit liability as they did not know the dangers at the time of exposure. However, a court hearing ruled in favour of Mr. Craig.
Mr. Craig said: "I am so angry to think that my life and those of my wife and children have been torn apart unnecessarily because of my former employers' negligence.
"Throughout my employment I was never provided with a mask or any protective clothing because I was working with asbestos. Had I been given this equipment to protect myself I wouldn’t be in this dreadful situation.
"I was absolutely devastated when I received my diagnosis and as a result I've now had to leave my job and can no longer enjoy playing golf or tenpin bowls which I used to play regularly with my sons."
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