Asbestos lung-related diseases occurred at very high rates towards the middle of the 20th century.? Patients who were exposed decades earlier to asbestos developed asbestos related lung diseases and British asbestos workers were among the first who were found to have lung cancer related asbestos.? Most workers were exposed to asbestos whilst working in:
- factories, or
- homes with asbestos, either in the process of carrying, installing, or removing asbestos, or while cleaning items laden with asbestos dust.
Asbestos has also been found in industries such as
- automotive repair
- boiler making
- pipe fitting and lagging of pipework, particularly in the shipbuilding industry.
Secondary exposure to asbestos is common with those who washed workers clothes that were contaminated with asbestos dust and fibres on a daily basis.
Cases of asbestos related diseases have been found amongst the people affected by the collapse of the World Trade Centre in New York.?? The 9/11 dust cloud contained asbestos and other harmful contaminates.
This is a lung disease causing severe scarring and inflammation of the lung tissue.? The lung is unable to expand properly and causes symptoms such as shortness of breath.? Asbestosis is typically associated with prolonged periods of exposure to asbestos.
The most common disease associated with exposure to asbestos.? The plaques are areas of fibrosis that can appear on the chest wall.? Pleural plaques normally cause no symptoms.
One of the early signs of malignant mesothelioma is thickening of the pleura as it becomes inflamed.? The Pleura can also thicken without the presence of malignant cells.
This disease is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres.? Meothelioma is a cancer of the thin membrane that lines the lungs.? Symptoms include chest pain, coughing and difficulty breathing.
Ball v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
This is a very sad case of a 92 year old man who developed symptoms of mesothelioma in January 2011.? At his trial in February 2012 his life expectancy had been reduced from 2.9 years to 3 months.? Mr Ball had been exposed to asbestos when he was a miner between 1967 and 1985.
Mr Ball had undergone radical surgery and was taking Oramorph for his pain.
Mr Ball lived alone in a flat but due to his deteriorating health he was placed in a nursing home.? Mr Ball continued to pay the rent on his flat in the hope that one day he would return home.
Mr Ball was awarded ?50,000 in compensation by Mrs Justice Swift in the High Court which is higher than the recommended JSB guideline figure of ?35,000 where the duration of the pain and suffering is relatively short.
In Mrs Justice Swift?s written judgment she said: ?A person of any age who is informed that his or her life will be cut short by the effect of a harmful substance to which he or she has been wrongfully exposed is likely to suffer a good deal of distress.
?Even if a deceased?s death has in the event been relatively peaceful, he or she will have been fearful since being told of the diagnosis of mesothelioma that a painful and distressing end lies in store.?
Mrs Justice Swift said: ?I consider that the appropriate award of damages lies below the lower level of the bracket of awards identified in previous editions of the JSB guidelines, but significantly above the lower level which appears in the latest edition.?
The ruling makes it clear that regardless of the amount of time the victim lives following their diagnosis, they should be appropriately compensated for the pain and suffering they endure, and leads the way for other elderly sufferers to receive settlements which reflect the pain and suffering brought about by the disease, regardless of their age.