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Asbestos removal could reduce asbestosis compensation claims

The death of a former headteacher has sparked a campaign by a Cumbrian coroner who wants to see that asbestos materials are removed from schools.

The recent death of John White, 65, has shown that there could be a number of asbestosis compensation claims made in the future by people who develop asbestos-related diseases.

Mr White came into contact with asbestos whilst working as a headteacher at St Cuthbert's RC School in Botcherby, Carlisle, and was later diagnosed with mesothelioma.

During the inquest into Mr White's death, coroner David Osborne suggested that asbestos should be removed from all schools.

He said, "Whilst I appreciate the enormous costs that might be involved in removing all the asbestos in schools the problem needs to be addressed and dealt with - even if it might mean demolishing some schools and rebuilding them.

"I do not think you can put a price on the safety of our children."

Following the inquest, Mrs White said, "Ian was a dedicated teacher, committed to the health and safety of his pupils and staff.

"He had checked if there was asbestos in the school and had been reassured by the local education authority that the school was safe."

Mrs White has contacted personal injury solicitors and is considering making a compensation claim for her husband's death.

With nearly 200 schools in Cumbria containing asbestos, there could be a number of asbestosis compensation claims made in the future by people suffering from related diseases.


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