The Evening Telegraph has reported that Mr Darling, 69, a former joiner who worked for the construction firm in the 1960s and 1970s, has claimed he was exposed to asbestos due to the nature of his work and the lack of adequate health and safety measures to protect employees.
Mr Darling has mesothelioma, a fatal, asbestos-related type of cancer. The action has been raised against his former employer and their insurers.
The first calling of the case was heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
A spokesman for Digby Brown Solicitors in Edinburgh, who are representing Mr Darling, said:
“A key point in cases of this nature is that we will make the legal argument that the employers were aware of the dangers of asbestos to individuals’ health by this time, but were not properly protecting them from these dangers.
The next stage in the case will likely call later this year, around the start of November, though it is always possible that cases of this nature will settle out of court.”
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs and kills about 2,500 people each year in the United Kingdom.
It mainly affects the lining of the lungs, although it can also affect the lining of the stomach, heart or testicles. More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK.
Of those, about 50% will live at least a year after diagnosis, and about one in every 10 with will live at least five years after diagnosis.