LONDON, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
A Kent man who developed a painful lung cancer after he was exposed to asbestos through his work in the 1980s and '90s has received £300,000 in an out-of-court settlement after making a Mesothelioma Claim.
Peter Olszewski, an industrial disease specialist at Fentons Personal Injury Solicitors LLP, said the former carpenter, who is now in his 50s, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in early 2012 following a prolonged period of increasing breathlessness and chest pains.
"My client was exposed to asbestos whilst working for three Kent-based shop-fitting firms more than 30 years ago," said Peter, a solicitor with the firm. "His job at all three firms involved refitting retail premises. Using hammers, crowbars and saws, he and his colleagues would gut the premises and remove all the old pipe work, electrical fittings, ceilings and walls before disposing of the material in skips and refitting the shops from scratch.
"The pipes they exposed were often covered in old asbestos lagging," added Peter. "It was their job to smash and cut the existing pipe work away from the building so it could be replaced. Unsurprisingly, the work produced a tremendous amount of thick grey asbestos dust which would hang in the air for them to inhale and get all over their hands, faces and clothes."
Peter said his client's employers never provided him with any kind of personal protective equipment such as face masks or breathing apparatus. "In addition, there were no ventilation measures in place and there were no on-site showers," he said. "As he was never given any clean overalls or means to wash himself he would always go home completely covered in asbestos fibres.
"My client approached me shortly after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma last year," said Peter. "He had been complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath for months before chest x-rays revealed he had a build-up of fluid in his lungs. Following various procedures to drain his lungs, he then underwent a series of biopsies which ultimately led to his diagnosis.
"Not only did my client's former employers fail to provide him with any protective equipment or ventilation but they also failed to properly educate or warn him of the dangers of asbestos," said Peter. "As a result, he is now a victim of this dreadful disease which has obviously caused a huge amount of distress to both him and his family.
"Although he remains extremely ill, it is hoped this settlement helps in providing him with the highest levels of care as his illness progresses."
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