Compensation for asbestos related lung cancer after pleural plaques claim

Older man looking thoughtful

Specialist asbestos disease solicitors at Digby Brown secured compensation for George Mason after he was diagnosed with an asbestos related lung cancer.

Exposed to asbestos every day at work

George worked as a shipwright for the Ministry of Defence from 1961 to 2006. He was responsible for the maintenance and repair of ships that came into the Rosyth Dockyard and was exposed to asbestos on a daily basis, for 45 years.

Pleural plaques claim for compensation

In 1984, George was diagnosed with right sided pleural calcification, an asbestos related disease.

Another firm of solicitors raised a pleural plaques claim against his employer and it settled in 1991 for £2000.

George settled this claim provisionally which secured the right to pursue further damages in the event he should go on to develop any further asbestos related conditions. These included Asbestosis, Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

However, the previous firm of solicitors agreed to a time limit of 31st May 2022 for any further claims to be raised.

Asbestos related lung cancer claim for compensation

In 2014, it was confirmed that George had developed squamous cell lung cancer. He underwent surgery which was successful in removing the cancer in its entirety.

To be successful in making an asbestos related lung cancer claim, it is necessary to establish a causal link between exposure to asbestos and the development of lung cancer. Unlike Mesothelioma, there is no unique association between squamous cell lung cancer and asbestos exposure.

Our asbestos disease solicitors therefore needed to establish that George’s exposure to asbestos had “doubled the risk” of the development of cancer.

Asbestos disease solicitors prove lung cancer was caused by asbestos exposure

Specialist engineering evidence

To assess the connection, specialist engineering evidence was required to calculate the potential levels of exposure to asbestos George would have experienced during his employment with the company.

Expert medical specialist

The specialist engineering evidence was sent to a medical specialist in London, one of the few experts suitably qualified to provide an authoritative opinion in such cases. In forming his opinion, the expert noted that George was a former smoker.

George’s risk of developing a malignant condition was increased five fold as a consequence of his asbestos exposure. The expert opined that George's exposure to asbestos acted synergistically with his smoking to cause his lung cancer and a causal link was established.

The expert also noted that the George’s risk of recurrence of lung cancer was 50%. In the event this was to recur, his life expectancy would be approximately 6 months. However, this risk would diminish with time the longer he survived following his operation.

Compensation awarded for asbestos related lung cancer

Our specialist asbestos solicitors secured compensation of £60,500 for George and his family.

Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, a contractual agreement was drawn safeguarding George and his family’s rights to apply for further damages beyond 31st May 2022. This provided invaluable protection to George and his family.