John was a pipe fitter for much of the 1950s and 1960s and it was through his work at major power stations in the north of the country that he was unfortunately exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos Claims Journey
Currently, approximately 40 people in the UK die every week as a result of an asbestos-related disease; most of these people are, or were, tradespeople, working in construction or heavy industry from the 1950s onwards, when asbestos was a common material used. Asbestos was fully banned from use in 1999; but, as asbestos-related diseases often show no symptoms until 20-50 years have passed, the number of deaths is set to continue rising for the foreseeable future.
John’s Story is part of a campaign to raise awareness about asbestos-related diseases and the support that is available to victims and their families
John Johnson, from Messingham, in Scunthorpe, was a pipe fitter for much of the 1950s and 1960s and it was through his work at major power stations in the north of the country that he was unfortunately exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos was routinely used at the time by power stations to insulate pipes which carried steam to boilers, because of the substance’s excellent heat resistant properties. However, along with many other thousands of people working in this type of environment at the time, John was totally unaware of the dangerous impact of working in close proximity to asbestos.
It wasn’t until John started experiencing breathing difficulties several decades later, that he was eventually diagnosed as having an incurable asbestos-related disease. John and his family started looking into holding those responsible for his exposure to asbestos to account; but, sadly, John passed away in December 2015, at 78 years of age, before he was able to see justice served. He left behind a wife and three children, who he’d asked to carry on the fight after his death. The Johnson family did so, with the help of Dedicated Accident Solicitors, and their claim for compensation, from the companies whose negligence had resulted in John’s illness, was successful.
If you’re looking for more information about asbestos-related diseases or want to find out what support is available for victims and their families after a diagnosis, please contact us.
Kevin, John’s son, tells his family’s story in his own words in the video above (transcription below).
Kevin Johnson (John’s son):
He worked in heavy industry all of his life, and particularly on the power station construction side, which I think was one of the main areas; also, when he was serving his apprenticeship, he worked for British Steel and again he got quite severe exposure there. At the time, I presumed they were just standard working conditions; but, from what we know now, they were unacceptable.
It was a pulmonary illness; he was really struggling to breathe. It affected his life in a big way; he couldn’t walk very far and he deteriorated quite rapidly. It was quite a shock to him really and I think it took quite a bit of time to accept that that was the cause. He was always a very very active man; a very determined man; he did absolutely everything that he possibly could, himself. He didn’t want any help with anything and that completely changed. Pride was a big thing and I think he had to swallow his pride a little bit and take a lot more help than he wanted to.
It was quite a shock to us to see him deteriorate in the way that he did; he was always a ‘get up and go’ kind of person. We had to help him with some things; driving, he didn’t have the confidence to drive. He did say to my mum that he didn’t have the confidence to cross the road because he wasn’t sure he’d make the other side. I saw him walk some distance and I realised when he approached me just how serious it was.
When my father was diagnosed, he was quite taken aback to start with and then someone in the medical profession advised him that he would need to seek compensation. He was given a list of people who might be suitable; and, Dad being Dad, he went online and researched it all and he came up with John Das (of Dedicated Accident Solicitors). He said “this guy really looks like he knows what he’s talking about; the recommendations look good. I’m going to use him.”
We made some preliminary arrangements for John to come up and see my dad; and unfortunately, my dad died shortly after that. Very easy to talk to, they encouraged us with everything and supported us the whole way.
We’ve all said that we feel we have done what my dad wanted. I’ll be honest with you; the money wasn’t a factor in doing it. My dad asked us to do it and we’ve done it; and John helped us. I would not hesitate to recommend John. He’s been very compassionate to us; very considerate. He’s dealt with it very professionally. The background staff; there was always somebody to call on; they always answered the phone and they always helped us. John himself has just been tremendous.
I am John Das, the director of Dedicated Accident Solicitors, and one of only thirty-two solicitors in the UK to be granted national accreditation as an asbestos disease specialist, by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
John Johnson was exposed to asbestos when he worked as a pipe fitter in major power stations in the north of the country. Asbestos was used in power stations to insulate pipes, which carried steam to boilers; which, in turn, generated electricity. Very unfortunately, Mr Johnson knew nothing about the dangerous nature of being exposed to asbestos. There were several decades between the exposure to asbestos and the development of symptoms, which is very common.
Ultimately, we were successful in achieving compensation on the family’s behalf; and, I feel that justice has been done on behalf of Mr Johnson, who sadly passed away before the case was settled.