UK Work Illnesses

In the UK, work illnesses claims enable you to recover compensation when you have suffered an illness due to your work environment for which you were not to blame. There are many occasions when claims for work illness compensation in the UK are not straightforward and, as no two UK work illnesses claims are identical, it is always in your best interests to seek professional legal advice. When you have a strong claim for work illnesses compensation, most solicitors will offer to represent you on a “No Win, No Fee” basis, and it is advisable to contact a work illness solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity in order that the solicitor can start the preparation of your UK work illnesses claim for compensation while evidence of negligence is still fresh.

Settlements of Accident Compensation Claims to be Processed Quicker after Changes to Law

Saturday, 3rd August, 2013

Changes introduced on August 1st in accordance with the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) should result in faster settlements of accident compensation claims with a value of less than £25,000.

The changes are intended to reduce the length of time it takes for insurance companies to respond to solicitor´s “Letters of Claim” and have been trialled successfully since April for road traffic accidents with a personal injury compensation value of £10,000 or less.

Now the Ministry of Justice´s claims portal has been extended to cover most types of personal injury claims with an anticipated value of £25,000 or less, and will required that insurance companies acknowledge Letters of Claim within one day of receipt (previously twenty-one days) and accept or deny their policyholder´s liability within 30 days (previously 90 days – insurance companies investigating accidents at work are allowed 40 days to accept or deny liability).

Insurance companies who fail to adhere to the new procedures will have the claim removed from the cost-saving claims portal and will have to absorb any higher costs of defending a claim themselves. The changes should speed up settlements of accident compensation claims and ensure that injured victims of negligence receive the funds they are entitled to in a much shorter timeframe.

Exclusions to the New Claims Procedures

There are a series of exclusions to the new claims procedures, and if the nature of your accident falls into one of the following categories, your claim will fall outside of the Ministry of Justice´s claims portal and settlements of accident compensation claims may take as long as before.

The exclusions include:-

  • Claims in which you may have contributed to the cause of an accident or the extent of your injuries due to your own lack of care
  • Claims for compensation against an individual or any negligent party who is uninsured or insolvent
  • Claims against an employer where two or more negligent parties (i.e. the supplier of a machine)are liable for your injuries
  • Public liability claims in which you have suffered from an avoidable disease due to negligence
  • Claims for medical negligence, mesothelioma cancer or abuse

The changes to the law apply to claims for injuries which have been sustained or diagnosed in England and Wales from August 1st 2013, and should you have any questions regarding how they might affect any settlements of accident compensation claims you are waiting for, you should discuss these with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.

Claim for Compensation for Cutting Asbestos in a Factory Settled

Wednesday, 27th February, 2013

A pensioner, who developed mesothelioma cancer after working for a bathroom appliance manufacturer, has had his claim for compensation for cutting asbestos in a factory settled without a court hearing.

Eli Richards (76) from Great Wyrley in Staffordshire worked as a toolmaker for Armitage Shanks for seventeen years from 1979 until his retirement in the company´s factory in Bushbury, Wolverhampton. One of his duties in the manufacturing plant was to cut asbestos boards which would later be used in the production of brass taps.

Eli was not provided with any personal protective equipment when he was cutting the boards, or given any warning about the hazards of working with asbestos, and only became aware of the risks when recently diagnosed with mesothelioma lung cancer.

Eli was shocked with his doctor´s diagnosis, as he had never smoked and was playing five-a-side football and table tennis until his mid-sixties. After seeking legal advice and the connection between Eli´s condition and his previous work environment was established, Eli made a claim for compensation for cutting asbestos in a factory.

Armitage Shanks admitted liability for Eli´s occupational cancer and a settlement of compensation for cutting asbestos in a factory was negotiated which will see Eli awarded £160,000.

Man Making Claim for BT Engineer Mesothelioma Dies

Thursday, 16th August, 2012

A former BT Building Contract Manager has passed away shortly after commencing a claim for BT engineer mesothelioma compensation against his former employers.

Derek Butler (74) from Weston in Somerset was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer earlier this year – an industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos over time. At the inquest into his death, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing heard from consultant physician Dr Justin Pepperell, who confirmed Mr Butler had passed away due to malignant mesothelioma.

The court was also read a statement prepared by Derek prior to his death in which the deceased outlined that he had worked for British telecommunications from 1967 and, in 1980, had been promoted to the position of Building Contract Manager. His new role included the preparation and remodelling of sites which were transferring from mechanical to electrical telephone systems.

Although Derek´s major responsibility was in the planning of the remodelling, his work included on-site supervision. While on-site – the statement continued – Derek was exposed to cables lined in asbestos and, despite the presence of plastic sheets, a significant volume of dust fibres were released into the atmosphere because of the scale of the project. This continued until Derek´s retirement from the position in 1996.

The inquest was also informed that Derek had commenced a claim for BT engineer mesothelioma cancer after his condition had been attributed to his exposure to asbestos while working for BT and, summarising up the hearing, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said: “Mr Butler did not work directly with asbestos but when working with BT and working with buildings which were remodelled it was likely he was exposed to asbestos during that work. I accept the medical cause of death as being one due to industrial disease.”

Asbestos Fatal Workplace Injury Compensation for Boiler Engineer´s Widow

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2012

The widow of a man who contracted mesothelioma cancer from the lagging of water boilers has been awarded 290,000 pounds in asbestos fatal workplace injury compensation one year after her husband´s death.

David Bean from Shepton Mallet in Somerset worked as a boiler engineer for Bristol Water until 1992; during which time his work duties included visiting pump stations which housed water boilers protected by asbestos cement lagging.

In September 2010, David began to suffer from chest pains, coughing and breathlessness, and was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer.

Within six months David had passed away at the age of 73 and, after taking legal advice, David´s widow – Jean – made a claim for asbestos fatal workplace injury compensation against his former employers.

It was alleged in the action that David was not provided with protective clothing, or warned by Bristol Water of the risks posed by disturbing and inhaling asbestos fibres.

After an investigation into historic health and safety procedures, Bristol Water admitted liability for David´s exposure for asbestos and a settlement of asbestos fatal workplace injury compensation was negotiated between the company and Jean´s legal representatives.

Ex-Miner Wins Asbestosis Related Cancer Compensation Claim

Thursday, 22nd March, 2012

An ex-miner, who claimed he contracted mesothelioma while working for the National Coal Board, has won his asbestos related cancer UK work illnesses compensation claim at London´s High Court.

Dennis Ball, 92 years of age, from Beeston in Nottinghamshire worked for the National Coal Board at their Sutton and Moorgreen pits between 1967 and 1985. He alleged in his UK work illnesses compensation claim that it was while he was working in the two collieries that he was exposed to asbestos which caused his mesothelioma cancer.

At London´s High Court, Mrs Justice Swift heard that Dennis had led an independent life prior to March 2010, when he was found on the floor of his flat by his step-son struggling to breath. He was moved to a care home where he was diagnosed with mesothelioma – the asbestos related cancer which lines the lungs and cannot be cured.

It was also explained to the judge that the Department of Energy and Climate Change – the government body now responsible for handling the affairs of the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation – admitted liability for Dennis´ illness and the asbestos related cancer compensation claim was now before her for assessment of damages.

After hearing that Dennis was a man with a strong sense of independence and a fear of hospitals, Mrs Justice Swift awarded Dennis 73,890 pounds in asbestos related cancer compensation to account for his pain and suffering and the loss of his independence. The judge included in the award an amount of 20,000 pounds for “lost years of life”, stating that “despite his age, his disease has had a devastating effect on his life”.

Man Dies after Starting BT Engineer Mesothelioma Work Illnesses Action

Wednesday, 25th January, 2012

A former BT Building Contract Manager has died shortly after commencing a BT engineer mesothelioma work illnesses action against his former employers.

Derek Butler (74) from Weston in Somerset was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer earlier this year – a disease caused by exposure to asbestos. At the inquest into his death, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing heard from consultant physician Dr Justin Pepperell, who confirmed Mr Butler had died from malignant mesothelioma.

The court was also read a statement prepared by Mr Butler prior to his death in which the deceased explained that he had worked for British telecommunications from 1967 and, in 1980, had been promoted to the position of Building Contract Manager. His new role included the preparation and remodelling of buildings which were transferring from mechanical to electronic telephone systems.

Although Derek´s primary responsibility was in the planning of the remodelling, his work involved on-site supervision. While on-site – the statement continued – Derek was exposed to cables coated in asbestos and, despite the presence of plastic sheets, a significant volume of dust fibres were released into the atmosphere because of the scale of the project. This continued until Derek´s retirement, from BT, in 1996.

The inquest was also told that Derek had commenced a T engineer mesothelioma work illnesses action after his condition had been attributed to his exposure to asbestos while working for BT and, summing up the hearing, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said: “Mr Butler did not work directly with asbestos but when working with BT and working with buildings which were remodelled it was likely he was exposed to asbestos during that work. I accept the medical cause of death as being one due to industrial disease.”

Compensation Claim for BT Engineer Mesothelioma Cancer is Successful

Wednesday, 7th December, 2011

A judge at Bristol High Court has awarded an interim payment in a compensation claim for BT engineer mesothelioma cancer for a man who had worked for the telecommunications giant for 27 years.

Frederick Vincent (76) from Torquay in Dorset was awarded the five-figure sum as an interim payment to provide him with the private care he requires immediately, pending a full settlement of BT engineer mesothelioma compensation still to be finalised.

The court heard how Frederick worked as an installation engineer for BT between 1962 and 1989 and regularly came into contact with asbestos while at work in telephone exchanges in Devon where he had to drill through asbestos insulation boards to gain access to telephone wires.

Frederick also explained that he worked in close proximity to asbestos-lagged pipe work and his exposure to asbestos had been a major influence to his developing mesothelioma cancer – a diagnosis he received on his fiftieth wedding anniversary earlier this year.

The judge found against BT for negligently exposing their employee to asbestos dust and awarded the interim mesothelioma cancer compensation payment to the BT engineer. The money will enable Frederick to pay for private nursing care and equipment to help him through the final stages of his illness, and also to purchase a car in order that Frederick´s wife – Jean – can drive him to medical appointments.

News Update February 2012: Sadly, Frederick passed away due to malignant mesothelioma cancer on 31st January.

Work Back Injury Compensation Awarded

Sunday, 27th November, 2011

A former Ryanair baggage handler has been awarded £37,000 work back injury compensation.  Damian Warcaba was injured in an incident at on July 17th, 2007, while moving aircraft stairs unaided.  Mr Warcaba was brought to to hospital and was absent from work for two months.

The normal operating procedure needs two people to manoeuvre aircraft stairs manually for about three metres to rest against an aircraft. Ryanair contested the case, saying that it had given standard training to all employees and regretted that the standard operating procedures where not adhered to in practice. Ryanair pointed out that Mr Warcarba had not acted in line with the standard operating procedures and was therefore solely responsible for his work back injury.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton ruled that Ryanair did not provide sufficient workers to ensure the correct operating procedures were followed.

258,520 Pounds Compensation Mesothelioma Awarded to Widow

Saturday, 1st October, 2011

The widow of a man who sustained mesothelioma cancer after being exposed to asbestos in his workplace has been awarded £258,520 in industrial injury compensation against her husband´s former employers.

William Wolff died from mesothelioma cancer in March 2007 aged 66 – just eighteen months after retiring from Weir Construction Ltd. During his employment at the construction company and previously at John Moulds (Kilmarnock) Limited, it was claimed by his widow – Elizabeth Wolff – that he had been exposed to asbestos fibres which were responsible for the injury.

Both Weir Construction Ltd and John Moulds (Kilmarnock) Limited admitted that the condition was caused by negligent exposure to asbestos while William was alive, and the case was before Judge Lord Doherty at the Court of Session in Edinburgh for the assessment of damages.

Judge Lord Doherty heard that William´s death was a painful one, and that Elizabeth had given up her job as a social worker in order to provide full-time care for her terminally ill husband.

After hearing expert evidence that William would have been expected to live on the balance of all probability for a further 17 years had he not contracted mesothelioma cancer, the judge granted Elizabeth a total award of 258,520 pounds, and in additional made further awards totalling 52,317 pounds to William´s three daughters and one of 7,084 pounds to his granddaughter.

Ankle Injury at Work Compensation set at £3.3m

Sunday, 17th July, 2011

A New York City sanitation officer, who made a claim for compensation for an ankle injury at work when a colleague ran over his leg in a forklift truck, has accepted £3.3m in compensation in an out-of-court settlement.

Andrew Anderson (37) from New York City, was helping a colleague install a snow plough to the forklift truck when the accident happened in early 2008. His colleague accidently ran over his ankle, causing a severe ankle fracture which required two surgeries to correct.

Andrew also contracted reflex sympathetic dystrophy during post-operative complications and sustained foot drop – for which he now requires the use of a foot brace. Since the incident, Andrew has been unable to work and been forced to take early retirement from the City of New York.

After consulting his legal representatives, Andrew sued the City of New York for the injuries he suffered. Liability was undisputed and the case was heard before the New York Supreme Court for final assessment of damages. However, just before the jury were about to begin their deliberations, lawyers on the two sides reached an agreed settlement of £3.3m to compensate Andrew for personal injury, lost income and loss of consortium.


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