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Asbestos victim denied compensation

Posted in: asbestos Employer Negligence mesothelioma 

A cancer patient has been given ‘enormous sympathy’ but no compensation for her cancer caused by asbestos expose in her workplace in the 1970s. 58-year-old Marie McGregor was 15 when she worked in Lewis’s Department Store in Liverpool. She had been employed by the British Shoe Corporation (BSC) which managed a concession there. 

In 1976 a workman was employed to fix the store’s escalators. Although Mrs McGregor and her colleagues thought nothing of it at the time, the store was covered in a thin layer of white dust that gathered on all the surfaces and required constant cleaning. The work had been carried out when the store was open to the public.

Judged by the standards of the mid-1970s

In 2012, more than 35 years after working there, Mrs McGregor was diagnosed with mesothelioma (an incurable cancer of the lining of the lungs generally caused by asbsestos exposure). Mesothelioma can take years to develop, and causes victims to suffer great pain.

The judge, however, ruled that Mrs McGregor’s employer had not been negligent. Mrs Justice Patterson said that the case had to be judged in accordance with the safety standards of the mid-1970s. She concluded: “Whilst I have enormous sympathy for Mrs McGregor, who clearly contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure at work, it is with regret, but without any hesitation, that I find that her claim against the defendant must fail.

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