British Rail asbestos victim has months to live but wins cash for his Derby family

A father-of-three from Derby has been told he has just months to live after suffering from a lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos at the workplace for which he was given no protection for, the Derby Telegraph has reported.

Eddie Jowett suffers from asbestosis, which was caused by exposure to asbestos while he worked for British Rail in the 1950s and ’60s – it has been revealed. During this time, a recent legal case heard, he was not provided with any protection from asbestos, such as a mask, nor was he warned of the dangers.

It now means a bedridden and terminally ill Mr Jowett, 75, has only between six and 18 months to live because of his condition.

He has recently been given a significant amount of compensation which he said will make his family more secure after he passes away. Mr Jowett served his apprenticeship at British Rail in the late 1950s and later on worked at the Derby locomotive works, now known as Pride Park.

 He was part of a team that made new prototype diesel cabs, which were lined with asbestos, it was a material he regularly handled in his job. For many decades, Mr Jowett lived a healthy life; then, during his 70s began to have breathing difficulties and was diagnosed with asbestosis.

Many asbestos-related diseases, including asbestosis, can take years, if not several decades to manifest. But Mr Jowett is now bedridden and has been told by medical experts that his life expectancy is only another 6-18 months.

When Mr Jowett does pass away, he will leave behind his wife, Pauline, their three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Mr Jowett said he has gone from being healthy to not being able to do anything. He said:

“It (suffering asbestosis) has totally changed my daily life.

From where I was a fit man that could do anything, doing any job that anybody came and asked me to do; now, I can’t do anything; I am now bedridden. I can’t go out walking, I can’t take my wife out, I can’t do anything.

The compensation itself won’t help me because, I am bedridden, so I don’t get out and about at all now. But, it has made my family, and my wife in particular, very secure for the future.”

John Das, director of Dedicated Accident Solicitors who dealt with Mr Jowett’s case, said:

“Once we had reviewed the case and conducted a very thorough investigation, it was clear to us that there was definitely a case to answer.

After my team and I have worked very hard on the case over the last few months, we’re very happy for Eddie and his family that we were able to bring them a measure of justice and the successful conclusion of the claim within his lifetime.”

The defendant in the case was the Secretary of State for Transport as the liabilities of British Rail sit with him since they ceased to exist. The case was settled before it came to court.