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Former engineer receives six-figure compensation in mesothelioma case

A former engineer from Penrith, Cumbria has settled his industrial disease claim.

Steam train engine

23 November 2017

An 81 year-old man from Penrith, Cumbria, known only as Mr K to protect his identity, has received £198,000 in compensation after contracting mesothelioma.

Mr K was exposed to asbestos when he worked for Hunslet Engine Co Ltd from 1951-1959 and 1961-1963 as an engineer.  

The company was based in Leeds and was involved in building and repairing locomotive engines.  Mr K worked in the erecting shop during his apprenticeship and he worked around locomotive boilers that were lagged with asbestos for insulation purposes when repairs were carried out.  

He worked in areas where large asbestos mattresses were removed from the steam engines.  The mattresses were damaged and large amounts of asbestos fibre leaked out of them.  Various repairs were undertaken and new asbestos mattresses were fitted.  Other work was carried out in the factory involving the renewal of asbestos lagging materials.
Mr K instructed solicitor Kevin Johnson, of law firm Leigh Day’s industrial disease team, to act on his behalf in February 2017.  

Hunslet Engine Co Ltd is no longer trading.  Kevin had to identify the company’s previous insurers which he was able to do having worked on a similar claim a number of years ago. He was then able to trace former colleagues of Mr K who provided helpful evidence about the work conditions including details about how they were exposed to asbestos.  

Legal proceedings were drafted but following discussions with the defendant, a settlement was achieved.  The case settled in July 2017, some five months from initial instruction to settlement.  The claim settled for £198,000.

Mr K was pleased with the outcome and the service that he received and commented:

“Before my diagnosis, I had never needed to claim compensation for anything and it seemed like a daunting task to choose a law firm and embark on the process. 

“Leigh Day, and in particular Kevin Johnson, made that process straight forward. 

“They were transparent, professional and reassuring at all times. Furthermore, the claim was completed much more quickly than I had anticipated and I was extremely pleased with the outcome.

“I would have no hesitation in recommending Leigh Day to anyone who found themselves in similar unfortunate circumstances to mine.”

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