Payout for former Barrow shipyard worker who got asbestos cancer

A FORMER shipyard worker who was diagnosed with asbestos cancer has received a payout.

David Yates was exposed to the pollutant while working as a carpenter for Vickers Shipbuilding in Barrow.

Mr. Yates joined Vickers as an apprentice in 1960 and worked there for a further 20 years.

He recalled regularly outfitting the bulkheads of various ships and working with other skilled workers.

He recalled always being surrounded by a cloud of dust that came from cutting the Asbestolux, or “marinating” as they called it.

Mr Yates also described how uncomfortable the dusty air became as insulators sprayed on asbestos insulation, which was stiflingly thick and covered everything.

Vickers Shipbuilding Group insurers acknowledged their negligence and negotiated a settlement without requiring a final hearing, attorney Fieldfisher said.

The compensation covers an amount for the condition itself and all costs arising from the mesothelioma, including asking family members to walk his collie dog – something he can no longer manage.

Mr Yates directed Bridget Collier at the firm to pursue the mesothelioma claim for him.

The settlement includes not only compensation but also access to treatments not already covered by the NHS.

After the settlement, Mr Yates said: “While it seems daunting to make a claim when you are unwell and the work involved, please do not be put off.

“Bridget at Fieldfisher has made the process as straightforward as possible, even during the Covid lockdown.

“She has supported us and made many helpful suggestions, something as simple as a new electronic bed to enable a good night’s sleep, which was previously not easy with this condition. Thank you for your help, Bridget.”

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Barrow continues to have the highest death rate from asbestos-related cancer.

More than 2,500 people died nationwide in a year from asbestos-related cancer, a six percent increase, the latest government figures show.

Earlier this year, the Health and Safety Executive released a report on asbestos-related mesothelioma cancer deaths in the UK, with the northern areas, including Barrow, still dominating death rates for both men and women.

The report Mesothelioma Mortality in the UK: 1968-2020 showed that there were 2,544 deaths from mesothelioma – an end-stage cancer of the lining of the lungs or abdomen – in 2020, a six per cent increase on 2019 figures.

Barrow topped the municipal area for most male deaths based on standard death rates, with 411.

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