A 72-year-old man sadly passed away in October 2018 at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Chichester, following his battle with mesothelioma.
The man was a scaffolder in the 1960s and 1970s working for Hine Ltd and The London and Midland Steel Scaffolding Company. He was exposed to asbestos whilst working on erecting scaffolding at jobs including The Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, London.
The inquest, heard how the man had begun to suffer from recurrent chest infections some years ago. The man attended Worthing Hospital in 2017 and had a biopsy. The results of this biopsy confirmed that he was suffering from mesothelioma. Unfortunately, his health declined and he was admitted to St Wilfrid’s Hospice in October last year where he passed away.
His heartbroken wife stated that: “I remember him coming home covered in dust. I just hope it hasn’t passed to me or the children - they were very young at the time. We just didn’t know what it was in those days.”
Mesothelioma is an aggressive, treatment-resistant cancerous tumour which primarily affects the pleura (lungs) and peritoneum (stomach). More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK. Most cases that are diagnosed tend to be in people aged 60 to 80, and men tend to be more commonly affected than women.
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a general term used for a group of fibrous minerals known for their thermal resistance, strength and acoustic insulation. Several types of asbestos were commonly used commercially such as blue asbestos (crocidolite), brown asbestos (amosite) and white asbestos (chrysotile).
The symptoms of mesothelioma can often take up to 40 years to develop and most commonly present as: a persistent cough, breathlessness, wheezing, chest pain, fatigue and weight loss. In cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, symptoms could include stomach pain, stomach swelling and nausea. It is most commonly diagnosed on chest xrays, CT scans and by taking biopsies.
Johnathan Steventon-Kiy, specialist industrial disease lawyer, says:
“Sadly cases of mesothelioma are common in those who worked in commercial trades such as electricians, plumbers, boiler makers, building and construction workers and any other trades in which asbestos was commonly used. It can also affect the families of those who used asbestos such as a spouse who may have washed dusty clothes/overalls. The effects of mesothelioma are devastating and it is important that an experienced specialist asbestos disease solicitor assists the Claimant, or their estate, to ensure that the correct amount of compensation is received. The specialist solicitors in Biscoes Industrial Disease team have many years of experience pursuing these sorts of cases.”
Contact our specialist personal injury, medical negligence and industrial disease solicitors on 0800 413 463 or visit www.biscoes-law.co.uk for more information. You can also follow us on twitter using the handle @biscoesmedneg