Eddie Jowett was exposed to asbestos whilst working on new diesel cabs for British Rail and he was not warned of any dangers or provided with any protection from the asbestos he was regularly handling as part of his duties.
Eddie's Asbestos Compensation Claim Journey
Asbestos is a substance that was routinely used in many industries, including construction and transport, until it was banned completely in the UK in 1999, because of the many health risks associated with exposure to asbestos fibres. It’s very common for there to be several decades between victims’ exposure to asbestos and the onset of any noticeable symptoms, making these types of illnesses especially difficult to predict. Once exposure has taken place, the damage to the body is permanent, and over time, this can develop into aggressive forms of cancer and other incurable conditions.
An estimated twenty tradesmen currently pass away each week in the UK from an asbestos-related disease; Eddie’s story is part of a campaign to highlight the impact that asbestos-related illnesses have on victims and their families, and to raise awareness of the support available to them after diagnosis.
Eddie Jowett started working for British Rail when he left school in the late 1950s, serving his apprenticeship and beyond at the locomotive works in Derby, which is now Pride Park. It was here that he was exposed to asbestos, whilst working on new diesel cabs, and he was not warned of any dangers or provided with any protection from the asbestos he was regularly handling as part of his duties.
After living an active and healthy life until he was into his seventies, Eddie started to experience breathing difficulties and was diagnosed with asbestosis, which stemmed back to his exposure in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He is now bedridden due to this condition and has been told by medical experts that his life expectancy is, very sadly, another 6-18 months at most. When he does pass away, Eddie will leave behind his wife, Pauline, their three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Once Eddie had been diagnosed with this incurable disease, he contacted a national law firm for help in bringing about a compensation claim. However, the law firm eventually decided not to proceed with Eddie’s case.
John Das, director of Dedicated Accident Solicitors, commented:
“Unfortunately, in Eddie’s case, his previous Solicitors turned him away after a considerable length of time, on the basis that they felt that they could not pursue a successful claim on his behalf. This meant that, not only was the time limit for bringing this type of claim that much closer to the cut-off point, but Eddie and his family also went through a lot of stress and disappointment in a period when what they really wanted was to make the most of the time they had left together.
Fortunately, Eddie refused to give up and contacted us. Once we had reviewed the case and conducted a very thorough investigation, it was clear to us that there was definitely a case to answer. After my team and I have worked very hard on the case over the last few months, we’re very happy for Eddie and his family that we were able to bring them a measure of justice and the successful conclusion of the claim within his lifetime.”
Dedicated Accident Solicitors were able to successfully secure a significant sum of compensation on Eddie’s behalf in May 2017.
If you would like to know more about the support and services offered to victims of asbestos-related diseases and their families, please contact Dedicated Accident Solicitors for more information.
Watch the video above to see Eddie’s story in his own words. A transcription can be found below.
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 by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers as an asbestos disease specialist. Eddie Jowett was exposed to asbestos whilst he worked at British Rail in the late 50s and early 60s, whilst he was spraying blue asbestos onto railway cabs.
Eddie was given no warnings, whether verbal or written, as to the dangerous nature of being exposed to asbestos. Eddie was given no protection against asbestos whatsoever, whether that was by the way of a mask, or by the way of ventilation or extraction equipment.
Eddie is suffering from asbestosis, which is a severe and irreversible condition affecting his lungs. Thankfully, when he came to us, we were able to achieve the justice that he both wanted, and deserved.
I was exposed to asbestos at British Rail, in the late 50s - early 60s, working on the new prototype diesels that they were bringing out. At the time, I was an apprentice, so I’d only just left school and everything was new to me. To start off with, the working conditions left something to be desired when you look back, from now. Everywhere was dirty, messy, filthy. They partitioned places off so they could start building the new diesels as they were coming into production.
I am now seventy-five years of age and I’ve got seventy-four years under my belt. I’d felt up to that point quite a fit and healthy man, so when I was told (about the asbestosis) it came as a bit of a shock to me. It has totally changed my daily life. From where I was a fit man, that could do anything: help my children out, doing jobs for them, doing any job that anybody came and asked me to do; gardening, decorating; you name it, I could have a bash at it and do it. Now, I can’t do anything. It’s took me off my feet; I am now bedridden. I can’t go out walking, I can’t take my wife out, I can’t do anything.
Up until then (when the other solicitors did not proceed with the case) I’d heard nothing about John (Das), nothing at all. Then I started to read these letters that were in the daily papers, which I was very impressed about. That man has bent over backwards to help me and done an absolute fine job. I must say that John and his company and his colleagues have worked fantastically hard to get me that (compensation) award. You could not wish to meet a finer set of people in all of your life. Very polite, very courteous; John himself is a fine man, plus the fact that we received telephone calls and letters on a regular basis.
The compensation itself won’t help me because, as I said earlier, I am bedridden, so I don’t get out and about at all now. But, it has made my family, and my wife in particular, very secure for the future.
If I met any of my colleagues now, in a similar position to me, or who have got some form of lung disease, who I worked with or even people I know of, I’d tell them not to give in, and to contact John Das; because he’s the man who will sort it out for you.