Compensation for Nurse Exposed to Asbestos in Hospital
Date online: 12/11/2011
The family of a woman who died of mesothelioma has received £150,000 in damages.
Christina Bolas, who was 64 when she died, worked as an intensive care nurse in a Birmingham hospital. She was exposed to asbestos while using an underground corridor in the hospital. The corridor, which was used to gain access to the mortuary and laboratories, contained heating pipes with asbestos lagging.
In 2007, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma. She died just over a year later.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs which is always, or almost always, caused by exposure to asbestos fibres. The disease has a long latency period – symptoms may not appear for up to 40 years after the initial exposure. The prognosis for those diagnosed with the disease is generally poor, as it is usually far advanced by the time symptoms appear.
Before Mrs Bolas died, a claim was initiated against her former employers. This was settled out of court and her family received £150,000.
Asbestos was used in the construction of many public buildings in the second half of the 20th century. In 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 2,249 people died from mesothelioma. The annual number of deaths is expected to peak at some point in the next decade.
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