Compensation for man diagnosed with asbestosis after death

By Gillian Crotty

The family of a former rail worker has been awarded compensation in an out of court settlement after a post-mortem examination revealed that he died from asbestosis.

Douglas Wattam worked as an employee of British Rail since 1966 as a coach builder at Doncaster railway works. Asbestos was sprayed on the interior of carriages and employees were not given any protective clothing or made told of any dangers associated with asbestos dust. Mr Wattam suffered from breathlessness for 13 years before his death and had been paying to receive regular nursing care. He was not diagnosed with any asbestos related illness during his lifetime. After his death in January 2012 a post-mortem examination showed he had died from asbestosis. An agreement was reached out of court and the family of Mr Wattam will receive compensation totalling £70,000.

In the 1980s British Rail began removing asbestos from the train coaches and providing protective clothing to employees. There have already been a number of deaths of former employees who worked as coach builders at the Doncaster railway works and others have fallen ill.

If you have worked with or otherwise been exposed to asbestos you should contact your doctor if you start to suffer from breathlessness, chest pains or any other symptoms. If you require legal advice in respect of compensation in respect of an asbestos related illness contact one of the claims solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9289.