Cape asbestos claim win may help older victims exposed to deadly dust

A Cape asbestos claim made by a visitor to the Barking site in the 1950’s may provide a lifeline to others affected by asbestos disease.

Read how Corries leading asbestos claims team won Asbestosis compensation for an 87 year old man who got his disease from visiting a Cape asbestos factory in the 1950’s.

Corries are leading asbestos claims specialists. No one works harder to get you the compensation you deserve.  Call our specialist team today FREE on 0800 083 7829.

Cape Asbestos Claim facts

Our client Mr G approached Corries in 2018 with a diagnosis of asbestos disease.  He was 86 years old and thought his health was not as good as it should be.

He was born in 1932 and left school at the age of 14. First of all he worked for local east London haulage companies.

Most noteworthy was that from 1950 to 1956 he worked for Plaistow Transport. The company would go to the Cape asbestos factory at Barking on a regular basis to clear out rubbish and debris.  Mr G and his mate would go round the Cape asbestos factory and load rubbish into the back of the wagon.  This would include asbestos dust. They took this deadly dust to the local council tip and poured it down a chute.

The work was done with no great finesse.  Mr G would then sweep out his wagon.

In addition Mr G and his friends would load up their lorry with Cape asbestos corrugated sheets and deliver them throughout the south-east area.  This work with asbestos sheets covered Mr G and his workmates in the deadly dust.

Mr G left the company in 1956 and was not exposed to asbestos any further. He hoped that he had escaped any consequences from this work.

Cape Asbestos – the consequences

Mr G enjoyed a good and reasonably healthy retirement. However he started to notice that he was suffering with his chest.

He had been told some years earlier that he had asbestos related pleural plaques and joined Corries asbestos pleural plaque register in June 2016. We kept his case under review.

In April 2018 he thought that there more to the situation and asked Corries to look further into this.

We worked with him and his doctors to see if there was more to be found. Consequently we got his medical records and found some fibrotic disease. The doctors had not closely questioned Mr G about his work and he assumed exposure to asbestos 60 years earlier would not be an issue.

Our team thought this needed looking into and arranged for his case to be considered by one of our panel of expert asbestos disease doctors.

The Doctor produced a report.  Our views were proved right when he said Mr G had got asbestosis which was causing 10% out of an overall disability of 40%.  Even at then (87 years of age) he thought Mr G still had a lifetime risk of asbestos cancer of 3% for mesothelioma and 1% for lung cancer.

Cape asbestos – the ignored history of asbestos

Making a claim for compensation means we have to cross various hurdles.

First of all there are often arguments about date of knowledge. This is the date when a reasonable employer should have known about the dangers of asbestos and protected it’s employees.

Asbestos lawyers know that the dangers of asbestos were known as early as 1899. Industry however took a long time to accept or start to accept there were risks or to do anything about it.

Our clients tell us health and safety was not thought about in “the old days”. That disregard has meant misery and suffering for thousands since and for many more in the future.

Typically it is argued that October 1965 is the cut off date, many lawyers will not run cases where exposure is before that.

Cape asbestos – the arguments

In this case Cape’s lawyers argued that:-

1. The exposure was nine to fifteen years before the 1965 date when an article by Newhouse & Thompson was published in the Sunday Times which told about the dangers of asbestos – even at low levels.

2. Secondly the man was not employed by them and they did not have the same duty to him that they might have had to employees on site every day.

Against this we argued that the knowledge of and type of business must be considered. Cape’s core business was the handling and making of asbestos products. Few companies were better placed to know of the dangers of it.

Cape been involved in a great deal of litigation about the extent of documents and information held over the years and their own knowledge of the dangers of asbestos. Our firm has sued them many times before as this previous case report shows

Cape Asbestos – the end of the road

The case was put to Cape in July 2019. We exchanged letters and they showed no desire to settle the case.

We issued and served court proceedings. Their lawyers got involved and despite the arguments above they saw the case had merits. Shortly after an offer was made and the case has settled within six months of sending the claim to Cape. It is a settlement which Mr G is very pleased with.

Asbestosis case comment

Corries Director and Solicitor Howard Bonnett who won Mr G’s compensation commented

This cape asbestos case is an important one for older asbestos victims. Sadly all too many end up with no compensation because big companies argue the cases and lawyers will not risk taking cases to court.

This case has shown firstly that exposure to asbestos before 1965 is not always fatal to a case.  Whilst many lawyers might turn down cases like this I think they deserve a chance to fight. Mr G was willing to go to court. His win shows that bigger companies working with asbestos many years ago must stand up and meet their obligations when innocent victims suffer.

Secondly the age of the victim should not put someone off from claiming. More and more victims aged 85 and over are coming to us looking for help. They often think they have had a good life and do not want to push things.

Asbestos has no sell by date and even victims aged 90 or over can still succumb to disease. Asbestos disease is awful and my team treat all victims with diligence.

No one deserves to see the end of their life plighted by asbestos. Those that come looking for our help get our 100% commitment”

Corries can help – call us now

If you have been diagnosed with asbestos disease in the last three years and have been turned down for compensation for reasons like these above then give us a call.

Corries offer a FREE second opinion service where we will get your former lawyers file and see if you have a claim. We make no charge for this initial work and put you on a No Win No fee agreement if we think we can win where others have failed. Call us FREE now on 0800 083 7839.

There is a three year time limit to make and claim. Don’t let the door shut on your potential claim.