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The Mathew Sailing Ship Historic Docklands

Asbestos claims in Plymouth and the Southwest

Seeking justice for asbestos victims in Plymouth and the South West

35+ years' experience in the field

Asbestos exposure affects thousands of people and their loved ones every year. Over 5,000 deaths occur due to mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other diseases like pleural thickening. Asbestos symptoms and diagnosis often occur decades after the initial exposure.

Our specialist team of solicitors focus on bringing asbestos compensation claims on behalf of people based in the southwest. They are experts at identifying where any exposure took place and getting their clients the right level of compensation.

The southwest counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Avon have a long industrial history. Despite this proud record, some of the region’s industries have left a terrible legacy of asbestos diseases. This is especially true for former workers in dockyards, shipbuilding, engineering and construction.

If you or a loved one believes you were exposed to this harmful building material when working in and around the Plymouth and southwest region, which has led to mesothelioma symptoms or asbestos related illnesses including asbestosis and lung cancer, you could have a claim for compensation. No matter how many years have passed since the exposure occurred, you may still have a right to compensation.

Our team have a vast knowledge of the southwest and its employers, which is highly valuable when investigating a compensation claim. Most of our cases are taken on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement.

What the directories say

‘Leigh Day have assembled what is probably the most experienced team of asbestos lawyers anywhere in the UK.‘"

Legal 500 2021

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Asbestos sources in Plymouth and the South West

Across Plymouth and the southwest, asbestos material was commonly used in many industries and workplaces. As a result, the region has been recognised for many years as an asbestos hotspot, with the sixth highest rate of male deaths from mesothelioma in the UK. Industries all over the southwest used the material for various purposes for many decades.


Plymouth is home to Devonport Royal Dockyard, which remains the largest naval base in Western Europe. In the 1950s and 1960s the dockyard employed many thousands of people, and asbestos was used extensively due to its heat resistant and non-flammable properties.

Dockyard workers came into contact with asbestos through many different sources. This included lagging for insulation on pipes and boilers, and asbestos sheets used to line compartments. When working in confined areas, the asbestos dust could be inhaled by anyone nearby, and it would contaminate work clothing which was then taken home before being washed. Hundreds of dockyard workers in Plymouth have developed asbestos cancers and diseases as a result of its prolific use during this period.


The shipbuilding industry is associated with the highest rates of pleural thickening and mesothelioma. Asbestos was widely used at all stages of the construction process for its insulation and heat resistant properties at places such as the Appledore shipyard in Devon.

Plants and machinery were covered with asbestos lagging for insulation purposes. Asbestos sheets were used to line cabins and other areas on ships. This could affect various roles in the shipbuilding industry, especially carpentry, as they were responsible for cutting and fitting the sheets.


Asbestos was used extensively in many environments where engineers worked across the southwest. Although engineers may not have been directly exposed, they could have overseen or closely collaborated with others who were. This makes them vulnerable to secondary exposure. This includes:

  • Mechanical engineers
  • Civil engineers
  • Stationary engineers
  • Heating engineers
  • Electrical engineers

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In the construction trade, asbestos was used in many different materials. This included ceiling tiles, floor tiles, Artex, corrugated roof sheets, and lagging for insulating pipework and boilers.

The construction industry in Plymouth and the southwest employed many workers of different occupations who may have been exposed when on or offsite. These included:

  • Joiners
  • Laggers
  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Boilermakers
  • Labourers
  • Fitters
  • Welders
  • Painters
  • Electricians
  • Ceiling fitters

These occupations are commonly held by those diagnosed with mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer in this region.

Expert asbestos lawyers in your area

For over 30 years, our personal injury team have worked hard to secure the compensation our clients are entitled to for a wide range of claims, notably mesothelioma claims.

Our specialist team work tirelessly and with compassion to support you through this difficult period. To start your compensation claim, one of our expert lawyers will assess your case and determine whether you have a claim. They will then help and support you in taking the next steps to pursue compensation, including gathering evidence to support your case.

Our personal injury experts are specialists in securing asbestos and mesothelioma compensation in Plymouth and the southwest.

Leigh Day in Plymouth:

4th Floor Salt Quay House

Tel:01752 422160

Our Plymouth and South West team

Andrew Stinchcombe


Andrew is a solicitor in the asbestos team in Plymouth

Asbestos claims Mesothelioma

Daniel Easton


Joint head of the firm's asbestos and industrial diseases team and acknowledged as a leader in this field

Asbestos and mesothelioma Industrial disease

Harminder Bains


Joint head of the asbestos and industrial diseases, internationally renowned for her role fighting for victims of asbestos

Asbestos and mesothelioma Data protection and privacy Road traffic collisions Spinal injury Industrial disease

Ewan Tant


Ewan specialises in asbestos-related disease claims

Asbestos and mesothelioma Industrial disease

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