Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral silicate which was used extensively in industry in Ireland and the United Kingdom throughout the 20th century. Asbestos was particularly used in roofing and wall installation, in cement pipes and textiles and also as a fire retardant coating on building materials. It is now well established that asbestos fibres are carcinogenic and when inhaled may cause an aggressive form of lung cancer. Asbestos is known as the “silent killer” as its adverse health effects may not arise for 30 or more years after exposure.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos. It can be found in the lungs, the heart or the abdomen. There is no cure for mesothelioma and by the time of its diagnosis, there will often only be a short life expectancy.
Mesothelioma affects approximately four times as many men as women. In most cases, this disease has been the consequence of exposure to asbestos in the workplace such as in shipyards, building sites, power stations, factories and workshops. Many of the women who have developed mesothelioma are thought to have contracted it from inhaling asbestos fibers from the contaminated work clothes and overalls of male relatives, usually from washing the clothing. The types of workers who are most at risk of developing mesothelioma include boiler makers and laggers, electricians, joiners, carpenters, other builders, motor mechanics and pipe fitters/plumbers.
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Where we can help
If it is likely that you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and you suffer symptoms of pain in the lower back, abdomen or chest, have a persistent cough, breathing difficulties or a shortness of breath, rapid weight loss, difficulties swallowing, swelling of the abdomen, sweating, fevers or vomiting, it is important that you seek medical advice. If you are diagnosed with an asbestos related illness, it is important to seek legal advice in relation to whether there are any grounds to bring a legal claim* against former employers and/or their insurers with respect to your condition. Employers have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace and a safe working environment so that if it can be established you were exposed to asbestos at a former workplace, you may well have grounds to bring a legal claim with respect to your injuries.
Ivor Fitzpatrick & Company have investigated and brought many legal claims against employers in relation to injuries and disabilities which have been sustained as part of an employee’s work. In any potential claim for asbestos related injuries, it is of considerable importance to identify all of the workplaces at which you were potentially exposed to asbestos and to ascertain whether such employers and companies continue in existence and/or have been the subject of legal proceedings from other employees in respect of asbestos related illnesses.
It will be necessary as part of investigating any potential asbestos claim to obtain expert evidence at an early stage from a Respiratory Physician and a Consultant Oncologist in relation to your injuries in order to confirm the diagnosis of your illness and to identify the most likely causative factors in your injuries. In the event those investigations indicate that there are reasonable prospects of successfully bringing a legal claim on your behalf, we will secure the necessary further expert evidence required to fully prove your legal claim and will guide you through the legal processes involved in prosecuting this complex type of personal injuries action.