March 24, 2012
An ex-miner, who alleged he contracted mesothelioma while working for the National Coal Board, has won his asbestos related cancer compensation claim at London´s High Court.
Dennis Ball (92) from Beeston in Nottinghamshire worked for the National Coal Board at their Sutton and Moorgreen pits from 1967 to 1985. He claimed in his injury compensation claim that it was while he was working in the two collieries that he was openly exposed to asbestos which caused his mesothelioma cancer.
At London´s High Court, Mrs Justice Swift heard that Dennis had led a largely independent existence prior to March 2010, when he was found on the floor of his flat by his step-son struggling to breath. He was moved to a care home where he was diagnosed with mesothelioma – the asbestos related cancer which lines his lungs and is incurable.
The judge was also told that the Department of Energy and Climate Change – the government body now responsible for handling the affairs of the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation – admitted liability for Dennis´ illness and the asbestos related cancer compensation claim was now before her for final assessment of damages.
After being told that Dennis was a man with an important sense of independence and a fear of hospitals, Mrs Justice Swift awarded Dennis 73,890 pounds in asbestos related cancer compensation to account for his pain and suffering and the loss of his independence. The judge also included in the award an amount of 20,000 pounds for “lost years of life”, commenting that “despite his age, his disease has had a devastating effect on his life”.