1940’s exposure to asbestos at Fothergill & Harvey’s causes mesothelioma
19 Apr 2018
Our client was employed by Littleborough based Fothergill and Harvey’s between 1944 and 1951 and again from 1953 for a further period of 12 months as an apprentice electrical engineer and later a qualified electrical engineer. He worked for Fothergill and Harvey’s at their mills, Greenvale Mill, Sladden Wood Mill and Rock Nock Mill. He enjoyed his job and learning a trade at the time.
In 2017 he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer.
His work was during the boom of the post-war period when the company decided to invest in the future and modernise its machinery and infrastructure.
During his employment he was exposed to asbestos in a number of different ways as he learned his trade. He was the apprentice and as such he was given all the dirty jobs and the jobs that involved running around after the qualified tradesmen. He did as he was told.
He worked at Forthergill & Harveys’ own power station where they generated the electricity for the mills. In the power stations, there were laggers who were mixing and applying asbestos lagging to pipework. During his time in the power station a new steam turbine was installed.
He took readings from electrical equipment.
He also went into the boiler house where there were 3 Lancashire boilers and worked on shut down periods when maintenance work was done.
He ran electrical cables throughout the mill to install new machinery and had to remove asbestos lagging to run conduits with a hacksaw. He also saw others knocking asbestos lagging off to remove leaking pipework.
Fothergill & Harvey’s had broken the law when they exposed him to asbestos.
Years later, when his work for Fothergill & Harvey’s had become a distant memory, those memories returned when he was told of his diagnosis of mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer of the lining of the lung. He knew that Fothergill & Harvey’s was where he had been exposed to asbestos all those decades before.
We saw him at home within a few days of him contacting us. A statement was taken from him about his work and our investigations commenced immediately, tracing the employers liability insurers of his former employer. A claim was made against them and all vital documentation sent to them quickly.
Our client’s employment history from the Inland Revenue did not record his employment with Fothergill & Harvey’s as their records do not go back that far. However the evidence provided by him was sufficient for us to pursue his claim.
His employer’s insurers admitted responsibility for his claim.
His claim settled in just over 5 months of us being instructed for a six figure sum.
Helen Wilson, our client’s solicitor said of the claim “This case involved exposure to asbestos over 60 years ago. It is becoming more common for claims to involve exposure to asbestos this long ago when precautions were not taken to prevent exposure to asbestos. I am pleased that we were able to obtain compensation quickly so that our client has the financial security for his future and can have any care and assistance he may need”