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Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer of the lung and it is normally caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take several decades after exposure for symptoms to appear and by the time the diagnosis is made, life expectancy is normally short.
Fatal exposure is normally the result of breathing in asbestos dust and even tiny amounts of asbestos can prove lethal.
Because of these facts, it is often difficult to understand immediately how and where the exposure which led to the disease took place and careful research is needed.
In a recent case, an elderly man died within a year of being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Before his death, he had instructed solicitors to investigate the possibility of obtaining compensation for his illness and his personal injury claim was subsequently pursued by his widow.
The man had been employed half a century earlier in a job which involved him working in areas in which asbestos lagging was being stripped off pipes, which led to him being exposed to deadly asbestos dust.
His former employers had failed to protect him adequately and their insurers agreed a compensation package with his family, who intend to donate the money to the hospice that cared for him in his final days.
It is an employer's responsibility to ensure that their premises and working conditions are safe for both their employees and others visiting the premises. Failing to take adequate steps to prevent injury or exposure to toxins will leave them liable for the damage caused.