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Secretary launches High Court claim for more than £200,000 against his former company

A man suffering from asbestos related cancer has launched a High Court claim for more than £200,000 against this former company.

In a writ issued at the court in London, Andrew Stevens, 57, accuses cement makers Plibrico Co Ltd of negligence, which led to him suffering the illness, mesothelioma, and which court papers say will cut his life short by more than 22 years.

Mr Stevens, of White House Cottage, Haughley Green, near Stowmarket, worked for Leeds based Pilbrico from 1972 to 1988 at its offices in Luton and its factory in Scunthorpe.

The High Court, London (7068911)
The High Court, London (7068911)

He became company secretary in 1985.

The writ says that at times he had to access the boiler house to adjust the boiler, which was lagged with asbestos and in doing so he rubbed against the pipes and boiler, releasing asbestos dust, creating an "extremely dusty environment".

This would get in his hair and on his clothes.

The court papers also say that in the course of his work, Mr Stevens walked below maintenance men who were removing asbestos ceiling tiles, and that the heating fan in his office released asbestos dust into the air when maintenance work disturbed asbestos behind vents.

The papers state that when he visited the company’s factory in Scunthorpe, he was exposed to more asbestos dust in the air.

They say Plibrico, which makes refractory cement to line blast furnaces, did not warn him of the dangers of asbestos, or provide him with any form of respiratory protection.

Mr Stevens first noticed symptoms of illness in December 2018 and was given a firm diagnosis of mesothelioma in January 2019.

He underwent palliative chemotherapy, but has had to cope with the symptoms of his disease, and the side effects of his treatment.

He accuses Plibrico of negligently failing to provide him with protective respiratory equipment, causing him to work in an atmosphere contaminated with asbestos dust and fibres, and failing to warn him of the dangers.

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