Railway widow compensated

Posted: 11th February 2013

A woman from Swindon whose husband died of an asbestos-related disease has won £145,000 in compensation from his former employer.

TrainSheila Simpson brought the case after her husband, Robin, died less than a year after he first developed symptoms of the illness that killed him.

Mr Simpson began working for British Rail at the age of 15. He trained as a coach builder, during which time he was exposed to asbestos. He went on to work in other railway workshops where he was also exposed to the potentially deadly substance.

After Mr Simpson’s death, a post-mortem examination confirmed that he had died from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs which is caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take many decades for symptoms to develop and there is no cure.

It has emerged that dozens of men and women who used to work at the Swindon railway works have gone on to develop asbestos-related illnesses many years after the original exposure. In Mr Simpson’s case, British Rail settled his widow’s claim for compensation out of court and agreed to pay her legal costs.

If employers fail to take appropriate measures to prevent exposure to substances that can damage the health of employees, they can be liable to pay compensation for the resulting illnesses. If you or someone you know has suffered ill health as a result of exposure to harmful substances in the workplace, contact us for advice. We are experienced in handling claims for all kinds of industrial injuries.