A former miner, who was exposed to asbestos fibres during an eighteen year period working in two Nottinghamshire collieries, has been awarded £73,890 in compensation for mesothelioma cancer by a judge at London’s High Court.
The ninety-two year old from Beeston, Nottinghamshire, worked at the collieries in Sutton and Moorgreen between 1967 and 1985 where, it had been alleged, he was exposed to asbestos fibres which were responsible for the development of mesothelioma cancer.
Mrs Justice Swift at the High Court heard how the man had been in good physical health and living independently in his home, prior to being found lying on the floor of his flat struggling for breath in March 2010. He was subsequently moved to a care home and diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer.
In his compensation claim, it was alleged that the National Coal Board had failed to warn him against the risk of exposure to asbestos and offered no form of personal protective equipment. Liability was admitted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change who now administer liabilities on behalf of the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation.
The judge’s award included £50,000 for pain, suffering and loss of amenity and a further £20,000 for the years of his life he will undoubtedly lose. Commenting on the award, Mrs Justice Swift said “Mr Ball’s age means that he does not have the distress of knowing that many years, even decades, of his life have been denied him. Importantly, however, the onset of illness forced him to leave his home and thus to lose his independence.”