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Justice Secured for Elderly Asbestosis Sufferer

The ill effects of asbestos exposure develop notoriously slowly and can turn out to be mild, fatal or anything in between. However, as a High Court case showed, expert personal injury lawyers do not let uncertainty about the future stand in the way of obtaining compensation for their clients, swiftly.

The case concerned a 74-year-old man who was exposed to asbestos whilst working as an electrician between 1968 and 1981. He was already well past retirement age when he was diagnosed with mild asbestosis which, amongst other things, caused breathlessness whilst tending his garden.

He had a life expectancy of about 13 years and doctors predicted that his respiratory disability would worsen by 5 to 10 per cent during his lifetime. They estimated that there was a 5 per cent risk that his condition would rapidly deteriorate and a 3 per cent risk that he would develop asbestos-related lung cancer.

When the man launched proceedings, his employer at the relevant time admitted liability for his injuries. Following a hearing, the Court awarded him £32,000 to compensate him for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Importantly, he was also granted the right to return to court for further compensation if any of the risks identified by doctors materialise.