�170,000 award to Newham pensioner...to die with dignity

A Newham pensioner, facing a “painful and distressing” end due to asbestos exposure when he was a younger man, has been awarded more than �175,000 damages.

Mohammed Najib, 71, breathed in the killer substance while working as a joiner with construction giants, John Laing Plc, between 1974 and 1980.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma — an incurable cancer of the lining of the lungs — in late 2009 and all that now remains for him is palliative care, London’s High Court heard.

Mrs Justice Nicola Davies told the High Court: “The remaining months of this claimant’s life will be painful and distressing.

“In so far as it is reasonable, everything that can be done should be done to alleviate the suffering of this man”.


The judge awarded Mr Najib �80,000 for his “pain, suffering and loss of amenity”. With other awards, including for specialist equipment, “alternative treatment” and his “lost years”, the total payout came to more than �175,000.

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“His pain has been such that, by December 2009, he was receiving morphine, this was increased in 2010, the level of pain now experienced can be uncontrolled,” said the judge.

“It was recently thought that the claimant had fractured his hip, such was the severity of the pain, no fracture was found.

“In recent times, his condition has deteriorated, he is now unable to visit the mosque because of his pain and lack of mobility.

“His cough, which has been a persistent feature of this disease, is particularly debilitating both at day and night.

“Such is the nature of this disease that pain will become intractable notwithstanding the use of morphine.

“The remaining months of the claimant’s life will be painful, difficult and distressing...the level of damages for mesothelioma reflect the exceedingly painful nature of the disease.”