An ex-miner, who claimed he contracted mesothelioma while working for the National Coal Board, has won his mining-related asbestosis cancer compensation claim at London´s High Court.
Dennis Ball (92) from Beeston in Nottinghamshire was employed by the National Coal Board at their Sutton and Moorgreen pits between 1967 and 1985. He alleged in his injury compensation claim that it was while he was employed in the two collieries that he was exposed to asbestos which lead to his mesothelioma cancer.
At the High Court, Mrs Justice Swift heard that Dennis had led a largely independent life prior to March 2010, when he was found on the floor of his flat by his step-son struggling to breath. He was moved to a care home where he was diagnosed with mesothelioma – the asbestos related cancer which lines the lungs and is fatal.
The judge was also informed that the Department of Energy and Climate Change – the government body now responsible for handling the affairs of the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation – admitted liability for Dennis´ illness and the asbestos related cancer compensation claim was now before her for assessment of damages.
After hearing that Dennis was a man with an immense sense of independence and a fear of hospitals, Mrs Justice Swift awarded Dennis 73,890 pounds in asbestos related cancer compensation to account for his pain and suffering and the loss of his independence. The judge included in the award an amount of 20,000 pounds for “lost years of life”, making the comment that “despite his age, his disease has had a devastating effect on his life”.