British sound engineer sues over asbestos exposure following mesothelioma diagnosis

British sound engineer sues over asbestos exposure following mesothelioma diagnosis

A former sound engineer is suing British broadcaster, ITV, over alleged asbestos exposure at their former Southbank studio.

John Sanders, now 81, believes he was exposed to and inhaled toxic asbestos fibres during the production of television shows at the site, claiming he handled ‘dusty’ sacks of asbestos in his role of more than 20 years.

Mr Sanders now has less than six months to live, as of May of this year.

Mr Kilvington, Mr Sanders legal representation, explained that during the creation and production of television shows at the London site, he was “working alongside people who were drilling through panels in order to feed the cables in”.

“The panels that they were drilling through were asbestos insulation board and that he was exposed to the asbestos dust and fibre released from that work,” he said.

“The claimant himself would handle the sacks of asbestos. They were made of a hessian-type of material and were dusty to handle. As well as the dust released by normal handling of the sacks, they would often tear on sharp edges and when they were packed tightly in small spaces, releasing further asbestos dust and fibre.”

Mr Kilvington submitted that Mr Sanders was “not warned about the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust and fibre and was not provided with and/or trained in the use of any or any adequate respiratory protective equipment.”

Mr Sanders has been treated with chemotherapy but there is currently no cure for mesothelioma.

ITV, in defending the claim, explained that Mr Sanders has to prove that his illness was caused by exposure to asbestos during his time as an employee.

“It is not admitted that (he) was exposed to the alleged or injurious quantities of asbestos during the course of his employment by the defendant”, said the TV company’s barrister Matthew Boyle.

“In the circumstances it is not admitted that the defendant ought to have foreseen that the circumstances of the claimant’s work, if proved, would give rise to a relevant risk of injury.”

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