A SWINDON man has obtained a court order against the Department of Transport which will leave the door open for him to make future financial claims should his health deteriorate as a result of asbestos exposure.

The man, who has asked not to be named, has been awarded immediate provisional damages of £31,500 following his diagnosis of diffuse pleural thickening caused by asbestos exposure at British Rail’s Swindon works.

However, he has also been given permission to return to court should his medical condition develop into mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer. The court has also given his family the right to take further legal action in the event of the man’s death.

The family’s solicitor, Brigitte Chandler of Swindon law firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall, said it was important in cases where people developed pleural thickening of the lungs to apply for provisional damages with the right to return to court to seek further legal redress.

“My client has been suffering from breathlessness since 2009 and now has difficulty doing simple household chores,” she said. “Two members of his family who were also at the Swindon works have also developed asbestos disease.”

The court decision means the claimant’s family can seek additional damages should the man die as a result of his asbestos exposure.

The man was based at British Rail’s Swindon works from 1942 to 1966 and was regularly exposed to asbestos in the boiler and AV shops.

“Even though the Swindon works closed in 1986, many people are still being diagnosed with asbestos disease because of the long time it takes to develop,” said Brigitte Chandler.

Swindon and South West Asbestos Group is a regional charity formed about 11 years ago, providing information and support groups for asbestos sufferers and their families. For further information contact 01793 532995, e-mail info@asbestosgroup.co.uk, website www.asbestosgroup.co.uk.