May 22, 2019

Family of carpenter Roy Blakey conclude their claim following his death from mesothelioma

One night, he woke with severe chest pain and went to the hospital. A chest x-ray came back as abnormal and Roy was sent for a CT scan.  He was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust.

Roy tried to carry on as normal and returned to work, despite suffering with ongoing pain. Sadly, Roy’s condition began to deteriorate at the end of 2016 and he was admitted to hospital.  Roy’s symptoms progressed rapidly and he sadly passed away on 15 February 2017.

Roy was unfortunately exposed to asbestos during his employment with Stepnell Limited in the 1970s. He worked for the company on projects at RAF Upper Heyford.

Roy was employed as a carpenter and was involved in making products in the joinery shop and then fitting them in buildings at the RAF base. He frequently used asbestos insulation board to make products such as fire doors, soffits and insulation panels.  He spent significant time in the joinery shop cutting the asbestos board to the right shape and size before fitting them.  Roy described how asbestos dust would fill the air and cover his hair and clothes.  There was no ventilation and Roy was not provided with any breathing protection or health and safety training.

Our specialist asbestos disease solicitor, Jennifer Seavor, acted for Roy in his claim against Stepnell Limited. She was able to assist Roy obtaining benefits from the Government to which he was entitled as a result of his diagnosis. Jennifer said “Roy was a lovely man. He had worked very hard all his life to provide for his family only to be diagnosed at a relatively young age with mesothelioma.  Roy was exposed to asbestos at a time when it was known that the substance was dangerous.  His employer failed to take reasonable steps to protect him.  No amount of money can compensate his family for their loss, but Roy wanted to ensure that they were provided for.”

Unfortunately, Roy passed away before his claim could be concluded but his wife Stephanie continued with the claim in his honour. The claim settled in September 2018 for a compensation award of over £250,000. Stephanie said: “Roy and I had been together for 41 years and had just celebrated our Ruby Anniversary when he was diagnosed. We always thought we would retire together so his untimely passing devastated me and our family. However, I know that although money isn’t everything, Roy would have welcomed the outcome of the claim.”

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