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The tragic effects of the mineral fibre asbestos continue to be felt today, and it is likely this legacy will continue until 2020 when asbestos related disease claims are expected to peak.. Against this background it is of utmost importance when claiming for asbestos after a family death that those concerned have legal help from expert solicitors that specilaise in this type of work. The asbestos solicitors at Seth Lovis & Co have over 65 years of collective experience in dealing with asbestos disease claims.

The historical dangers of asbestos

The hazards of asbestos were suspected and, by some, known, for a long time before its use finally began to be phased out in the mid 1980's. In fact, it was as long ago as 1924 that the British Medical Journal first published an article outlining concerns over the toxicity of asbestos. Even before this date, a large number of asbestos-related deaths including lung cancers were observed among the inhabitants and workers of asbestos mining towns.

With pressure and evidence mounting, in 1931 UK lawmakers passed landmark legislation in the form of The Asbestos Industry Regulations – these made it incumbent on employers to provide increased ventilation to asbestos-reliant workspaces. However, despite this being an important step, it would not be until the end of the century that legislation took full account of the substance's risks.


Workers from the UK's shipyards have some of the highest rates of asbestos illness in the UK. In fact it is thought that at one point in the UK's shipyard industry, as many as one in every 500 shipyard workers worked as an asbestos insulator. But this does not mean that these were the only workers at risk.

Throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, shipyard workers across the UK, from Southampton and Portsmouth to London to the North East in Newcastle were all exposed to huge quantities of asbestos, , which was frequently used as an insulator for pipe work, boilers and compartmental division within the deckheads and bulkheads of vessels. Not only were those directly involved in asbestos work at risk – its fibres are very mobile and it is very common for those who were merely in the vicinity to develop the illness.

Other workplaces

In fact, asbestos use was so widespread in the UK up until the latter part of the twentieth century that even today instances both of affected workers claiming for illness and of bereaved family members claiming asbestos compensation after a family death remain tragically common. The time period for asbestos related disease to develop can be as much as 40 or 50 years after first exposure.

Even once its dangers became known asbestos use in manufacturing and construction continued for many years, with it considered to be a "miracle" insulator for both residential and commercial buildings.

Furthermore there was widespread use of asbestos in factories, either in the preparation of asbestos insulation or in asbestos-containing products such as ironing boards, brake pads, and tiles. At one point the number of asbestos products was thought to exceed 3,000. Many workers report of workplaces so hazardous that it was like an "asbestos winter wonderland". Employers continued to use asbestos even though they were aware of its dangers and the availability of viable alternatives.

Claiming asbestos compensation following a family death

A March 2012 Supreme Court ruling affirmed the right of families who have lost loved ones to asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma to claim compensation.

"The negligent exposure of an employee to asbestos during the policy (insurance) period has a sufficient causal link with subsequently arising mesothelioma to trigger the insurer's obligation," ruled the judge hearing the case.

Claiming for asbestos after a family death is the legal right of all UK families who have lost a loved one to an asbestos related disease.

Seth Lovis & Co personal injury solicitors are experts in asbestos related disease claims and we help clients from across the UK bring claims for compensation. We act sensitively but determinedly to ensure justice for those who have lost loved ones to asbestos-related illnesses. Call us today for advice on your claim on 0370 218 4025​ or submit an online enquiry form by clicking ere. We are able to deal with most claims on a no win no fee basis.

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