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Asbestos Lagged Pipes

Newcastle man receives six-figure settlement following mesothelioma diagnosis

A man diagnosed with an incurable form of asbestos-related cancer has secured a settlement with Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd (ICI) after he claims he was exposed to asbestos while working there in the 1960s. 

Posted on 07 February 2024

The man, who we have called Paul, worked for Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd (currently known as Akzo Nobel Limited) in Billingham, Teesside from 1961 to early 1966 as an apprentice electrical fitter.  

Paul worked in locations across the plant and the plant contained miles of pipework, most of which he claims was lagged with asbestos. He describes how he worked near to laggers who cut asbestos lagging with hacksaws, releasing asbestos dust into the factory air.  

Paul remembers working in areas where composition lagging was mixed – raw asbestos was allegedly tipped into a bin or barrel and mixed with water to form a paste, which would then be applied like plaster to the pipework.  

Paul claims that throughout the course of his employment, he would frequently brush against, climb over and crawl underneath asbestos lagging, exposing him to asbestos fibres. He also recalls how at times he would have to crawl beneath a pipe with only half a metre of space, making it impossible to manoeuvre without rubbing against the lagged pipework.  

Paul says that he was not given any breathing protection when he was asked to work in those conditions near to asbestos.  

Mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, takes decades to develop in an individual after being exposed to asbestos. Paul developed a cough and began to feel unwell in September 2022. Presuming his symptoms were COVID-19 related, he attended hospital where he had a chest x-ray. He was then asked by a doctor whether he had worked with asbestos.  

Paul had blood tests and an ECG and was referred to North Tyneside Hospital where he had a CT scan followed by an invasive biopsy. He was given the diagnosis of mesothelioma on 19 October 2022. 

Paul turned to the asbestos claims team at law firm Leigh Day to bring a legal claim against his former employer, and as a result a six-figure settlement was reached.  

Steven Dickens, partner in Leigh Day’s asbestos claims team, said: 

“Mesothelioma is a devastating diagnosis to receive, particularly as it could have been avoided had Paul received protective respiratory equipment. While this harm cannot be undone, I am pleased that the settlement will help to make Paul comfortable for the remainder of his life and will support his wife and family.” 

Steven Dickens
Asbestos and mesothelioma Industrial disease

Steven Dickens

Leading Manchester and North East mesothelioma claims lawyer

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