An ex-shipyard worker, who is now living with the fear of developing lung cancer, has won an asbestos compensation.
Robert Kemp, of Sunderland, worked as an apprentice and later as a shipwright for 2 Wear yards. The man, who is 75 years old now, worked for the yards between 1950 and 1990.
In 2010 August, Kemp started suffering from a chest pain and a very bad cough. Then his doctors told him that most probably he had developed lung cancer. However, the cancer diagnosis was ruled out by a biopsy, but he was then diagnosed with a disease known as “diffuse pleural thickening.” The disease made Kemp, who was once the branch secretary of GMB union, breathless and incapable to walk far distances. He also became unable to carry out works at his home.
“The diagnosis had a disastrous impact on our lives,” Kemp said.
“It is really frustrating that I can’t do anything that I was normally able to carry out. I am worried that I’ll get asbestos-related lung cancer soon. I am living in this fear every time,” Kemp said.
Previously, Kemp had been diagnosed with the disease ‘pleural plaques’. After that, he approached an attorney for legal advice and he realized that he could win compensation for his present condition.
Kemp approached the law firm again when he was told by doctors that he might have had cancer. The lawyers successfully secured compensation in the case filed against the insurers of 2 of Kemp’s former employers.
What Kemp won now is a provisional settlement. Therefore, he can make a compensation claim further in case his present condition worsens because of his asbestos-related illness.
Asbestos is a fibrous silicate mineral occurring in the nature, which is found in various forms. Mainly there are 2 types of asbestos: Friable asbestos and non-friable asbestos.
When it is dry, the friable form of asbestos can be crushed, pulverised or powdered using hand pressure. This may include formerly non-friable asbestos material that has become damaged or broken.
Non-friable asbestos is normally mixed or bonded with materials such as cement. It can’t be pulverized, crumbled or powdered using hand pressure. They are less dangerous when compared to friable asbestos, which can easily be broken and release its fibers into the air. Asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer are caused by the inhalation of these fibers.