Personal injury news

Dockers exposed to asbestosis gain compensation claim hope

A recent ruling has given former dockers the green light to pursue personal injury compensation from the government for asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Casual dock workers were employed under the National Dock Labour Board scheme until 1967. This scheme was introduced by the government in the late 1940s to organise the dockers' labour at ports.

Dock workers were required to unload raw asbestos from ships and refusal to do so resulted in instant dismissal.

This High Court decision, ruled by Mr Justice Sibler, revealed the Department for Trade and Industry responsible for the health and safety of workers at docks throughout England and Wales in the 1950s and 1960s. As a result, the labour boards were informed that they are not permitted to pass on all responsibility to the shipping companies that transported the cargoes of asbestos.

Sufferers of asbestos related diseases and their families were delighted with the ruling and one individual exclaimed: ‘All we wanted was for the dock board to hold their hands up and admit they should have protected them.’

This judgement has given new hope to Robert Thompson, 65, of Southport, who was exposed to asbestosis and the widow of another dock worker, Winifred Rice who looks to pursue her husband’s mesothelioma compensation claim.


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