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Steeplejack who was exposed to asbestos awarded £15,717

A steeplejack who suffered from a respiratory disability caused partly by exposure to asbestos has been awarded damages of £15,717.

The High Court was told that the steeplejack had worked for a construction company for periods totalling seven to eight years between 1981 and 1991.

In 2007, he was diagnosed as suffering from smoking-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He also developed asbestos-related pleural plaques in the right lung.

He took legal action against the construction company, which conceded that it was in breach of its duty to prevent his exposure to asbestos as far as was reasonably practicable as required under the law.

The issues for the court to decide were whether the damage to his lungs arose from his exposure to asbestos or from other causes, and the appropriate measure of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

After hearing expert evidence, the court held that 20% of his illness was caused by exposure to asbestos while working for the construction company and awarded him a total of £15,717 compensation on that basis.

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