Mesothelioma Compensation Claim for Power Station Worker

Ronald Skeats was a boiler maker employed by Babcock and Wilcox from 1963 until 1967. He worked in power stations across the country, including Battersea, Lotts Row, Fulham, Scunthorpe and Tipton. In the course of his daily duties installing, servicing and maintaining boilers he was exposed to harmful asbestos dust.



Ronald first became ill in May 2008. He had a stiff and painful neck and a cough. He consulted his GP and was treated for neck strain. Ronald’s condition then declined suddenly. He was admitted to hospital as an emergency at the beginning of June.


Whilst in hospital he underwent tests but no clear diagnosis was reached. He was treated for suspected pneumonia.


Unfortunately Ronald’s condition did not improve and he deteriorated rapidly. He remained in hospital. Ronald died on 16th June 2008 aged just 69 years old.


It was not until after Ronald’s death that the diagnosis of the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, was made and his family were approached about the possibility of him working with asbestos.


Shortly after Ronald’s death we were contacted by his family. They asked us to investigate a claim against his former employers, Babcock and Wilcox. We travelled to the family home in Essex to obtain information about Ronald’s employment at Babcocks. We were also able to trace and take statements from former colleagues who had worked with him. 


Ronald’s family did not have to worry about the costs of funding a claim as the matter was dealt with on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This meant that we recovered all of our costs from Babcocks’ insurers.


Ronald had always enjoyed good health before he developed mesothelioma. During his working life he had never had a day off sick. He led a fit and active lifestyle. He did not drive instead preferring to walk and cycle everywhere.


Ronald and his wife moved into a new house 9 months before he became ill from mesothelioma. He enjoyed carrying out home improvements and had great plans for re-decorating the whole house and building a conservatory.


Ronald was a keen gardener.  At their previous house he not only maintained his own garden but also those of his neighbours. He was planning to landscape the garden at the new house.


Ronald and his wife had had a long and happy marriage. They enjoyed travelling the world together. They had visited Australia many times and also spent time in Bali and America. They had plans to do more travelling during their retirement together. 


We issued a claim against Babcock International Limited, the current name of Babcock and Wilcox. We recovered a substantial compensation award without the need of going to court for a formal hearing. Ronald’s family received the compensation in full.


Contact details:

Neil Fisher, Partner                    
John Pickering and Partners LLP
Old Exchange Buildings
St Ann’s Passage
29-31 King Street                                             
Manchester, M2 6BE     


Telephone: 0161 834 1251                
FREEPHONE: 0808 1440957      



John Pickering and Partners LLP- Specialist mesothelioma compensation solicitors.


We are a specialist personal injury law firm.  We have been handling claims for industrial disease for over 30 years.  Most of our work involves acting for asbestos disease victims. 


We only act for the sufferers of asbestos diseases and never act for the organisations that caused the asbestos exposure or their insurers.  We have an ethical approach and pledge to donate 10% of our net profits every year to good causes that help asbestos sufferers. 


Click here to find out about our donations to good causes.  We have also been involved in most of the landmark judgments that shape this area of law.  Find out more about us or find out about our reported cases.  We are on the panels of several asbestos support groups and are ranked highly by legal guides.  Click here to find out more about what others have said about us.


John Pickering and Partners LLP is a niche legal practice that has represented Claimants in the leading asbestos "test cases" in the last ten years. The firm represented Sylvia Barker in Barker v Corus (UK) Plc, a case that highlighted the legal tactics of employers and insurers trying to cut back their compensation liabilities to mesothelioma sufferers, and which prompted the amendment of the Compensation Act 2006 to ensure full compensation for mesothelioma claims. The firm represented two of the three Claimants in the Fairchild appeal, in which the insurance industry tried unsuccessfully to block compensation altogether for mesothelioma sufferers unable to identify which of two or more sources of asbestos exposure had caused their illness.


The firm represented Alice Jefferson, a mesothelioma sufferer, whose illness and compensation claim against Cape Asbestos were featured in the important documentary "Alice: A Fight For Life."   Shown by Yorkshire Television in July 1982, the programme was an important catalyst for legal change and public awareness of the plight of mesothelioma and other asbestos disease sufferers and a prompt for important legal reform.


Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of certain bodily organs.  It most commonly affects the lining of the lungs (the pleura) but it can affect other areas including organs in the abdominal cavity (the peritoneum).


According to the British Lung Foundation, more than 2,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year in the UK and there is one mesothelioma death every five hours. The number of deaths from mesothelioma increased from 153 in 1968 to 1,969 in 2004 and is expected to peak at 2,450 between 2011 and 2015.


The British Lung Foundation, supported by John Pickering and Partners LLP, launched the first Action Mesothelioma Day on 27th February 2006, to raise awareness about mesothelioma, to improve the treatment and care of mesothelioma patients, and to lobby for better funding for research into mesothelioma and for the protection and education of people working with asbestos.


If you need advice about an asbestos related illness, contact us now for information about making a claim for compensation.