Settlement obtained for Cambridge worker who suffered occupational asthma

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Ashtons Legal has recently settled an occupational asthma claim for a woman who developed symptoms after working in an unfit building in Cambridge.

Although Mrs P was only working in the building on a part-time basis, she developed symptoms within weeks of taking up the position. An initial runny nose was then joined by a cough, followed by chest pains and a few months later she was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties.

The office in which she was working had a large patch of visible mould growing on the wall and the ceiling and the whole office smelt damp. This was not helped by the lack of fresh air because the windows were difficult to open. The cause of the problem was a leaking roof, which the building’s owners made no effort to repair. Instead, they attempted to fix the problem by painting over the mould, which inevitably grew back through almost immediately.

Richard Foyster, who heads the Personal Injury team at Ashtons, comments: “All employers have a duty of care to their employees and clearly this employer was failing in this duty. Mrs P was not the only person to fall ill due to the mould in this building; a colleague had also developed similar symptoms and been diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Industrial diseases of all types can be debilitating and employees have a right to expect their employers to ensure that their working conditions are fit for purpose.”

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