Asbestos sufferer provisionally awarded more than £20,000 compensation

Paul Retallick. Picture: PAUL RETALLICK

Paul Retallick. Picture: PAUL RETALLICK - Credit: Archant

An ex-inspector made ill by his work for an asbestos manufacturer 46 years ago has been provisionally awarded more than £20,000 in compensation should he suffer any further.

Paul Retallick's £20,115 provisional settlement means he can reopen his claim if he develops more serious asbestos-related health conditions, such as mesothelioma.

The 65-year-old - who worked as an inspector for Cape between 1969 and 1971, where he would inspect and cut boards made of asbestos materials - thought he had a nasal problem after suffering breathlessness for many years.

However he was advised to have a scan of his lungs at a hospital, where a consultant at the respiratory clinic performed further tests and found a shadow on his lung.

This was later found to be diffuse pleural thickening – an asbestos-related condition.

'I never once saw my employer take account for the air quality and we weren't advised on the issues that breathing asbestos can caused,' Mr Retallick, from Attleborough, said.

'The only breathing masks we were given were so uncomfortable that no-one would wear them.

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'There were a load of us that joined the firm when we were just 18, so I dread to think whether they have been affected and if they are suffering like I am.'

There was an extractor fan under his work station that would remove some of the dust created but no other forms of ventilation in the factory.

So when several members of staff were cutting at once the dust would circulate in the air around him and settle on his clothes, skin and surrounding surfaces.

Mr Retallick turned to Thompsons Solicitors to make an asbestos disease compensation claim, which was also been supported by the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team.

'At times, the amount of dust in the air was ridiculous,' Mr Retallick said.

'When the dust settled it would cover the entire factory floor. It would make my dark blue overalls appear stone-washed by the end of the day. The dust was that dense.'

Mr Retallick has urged others who worked in the factory and believe they are now suffering health defects to contact Thompsons Solicitors.

Steve Fitzwalter, of Thompsons Solicitors, added: 'The diagnosis came completely out of the blue for Paul, but it is important that it was spotted before it could develop into something more serious.

'His settlement means that, should his condition deteriorate, we can support him with reopening a compensation claim, to ensure Paul is able to afford any further treatments or provisions he may need.'

Cape has been contacted for comment.

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