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Man Dies after Starting Claim for BT Engineer Mesothelioma Cancer

August 11, 2012

A former BT Building Contract Manager has died shortly after commencing a claim for BT engineer mesothelioma cancer compensation against his former employers.

Derek Butler (74) from Weston in Somerset was diagnosed as having mesothelioma cancer earlier this year – an industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos. At the inquest into his death, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing heard from consultant physician Dr Justin Pepperell, who confirmed Mr Butler had died as a result of malignant mesothelioma cancer.

The court was also read a statement prepared by Derek prior to his death in which the deceased explained that he had worked for British telecommunications from 1967 and, in 1980, had been promoted to the role of Building Contract Manager. His new role included the preparation and remodelling of existing buildings which were transferring from mechanical to electrical telephone systems.

Although Derek´s major responsibility in the new role was in the planning of the remodelling, his work involved on-site supervision. While on-site – the statement continued – Derek was exposed to cables coated in asbestos and, despite the presence of plastic sheets, a significant volume of dust fibres were released into the atmosphere because of the size of the project. This continued until Derek´s retirement from BT in 1996.

The inquest was also told that Derek had commenced a claim for BT engineer mesothelioma cancer once his condition had been attributed to his exposure to asbestos while working for BT and, summing up the hearing, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said: “Mr Butler did not work directly with asbestos but when working with BT and working with buildings which were remodelled it was likely he was exposed to asbestos during that work. I accept the medical cause of death as being one due to industrial disease.”