Member awarded compensation for asbestos disease

A Warwickshire man who developed a fatal disease caused by being exposed to asbestos at work has received £260,000 with support from Unite Legal Services.

Colin Morris, 71, was employed by a Warrington firm as an apprentice electrician from 1960 to 1963, where he worked alongside laggers who mixed and applied asbestos lagging to pipe work.

Asbestos dust would often be disturbed as they did this and the area was poorly ventilated. Colin, who worked on electrical components, was never provided with any protection from inhaling asbestos dust.

In May 2016, Colin started feeling breathless and also noticed a build-up of mucus on his chest. He visited his doctor who prescribed a course of antibiotics, but when that didn’t help he went for scans that showed fluid on one lung.

A later biopsy confirmed that he was suffering from the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.

Colin contacted Unite Legal Services to make a compensation claim.

“Unite Legal Services was excellent throughout my claim,” he said. “They explained to me how my exposure to asbestos caused me to develop this disease and brought everything to a close quickly and without any hassle.

“I feel extremely let down by my employer for not warning me about asbestos. I dread to think whether any of my former colleagues have also developed this disease as a result of exposure.

“I would urge anyone suffering with an asbestos-related disease to speak with Unite Legal Services so that they, like me, can get specialist support and some sense of justice.”

Stef Blasczyk, Unite the Union West Midlands Legal Officer said: “Despite working with asbestos more than 50 years ago, Colin’s symptoms only began to manifest recently. In the span of a few months, he has gone from being fit and healthy to struggling to complete everyday tasks. This is why is it extremely important that any Unite members out there, who have been exposed to asbestos in the past, contact us to have their details added to our asbestos exposure register.

“Tragically, asbestos diseases affect thousands of people each year. Unite Legal Services has the best specialist legal experts at its disposal to provide support to those diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses.”