A former Dundee City Council plumber is suing his ex-employers for more than £5,000 after alleged long-term exposure to asbestos.
William Sherriff, 69, of Mid Craigie, Dundee, carried out work on the local authority’s gas, plumbing and heating appliances since the late 1960s when it was run under its old guise of Dundee Corporation.
Mr Sherriff claims he was regularly exposed to asbestos fibres from carrying out his duties on housing schemes, schools and other council-owned properties.
Despite leaving his role in 2008, Mr Sherriff was recently diagnosed with the crippling condition diffuse pleural thickening, which has caused a partial lung collapse called rounded atelectasis.
As a result, he now suffers from severe respiratory problems, which leave him regularly short of breath.
His case is being represented by solicitors Digby Brown and it was called for the first time at the Court Of Session in Edinburgh.
The Court Of Session deals with claims of a value greater than £5,000 and it is understood Mr Sherriff may even push for more than £10,000.
A spokesman for Digby Brown said although the dangers of asbestos are well known today, there are still regular occurrences of asbestos-related illnesses.
He said: “Everyone is entitled to a safe working environment. For individuals who, through the course of their working lives, were exposed to asbestos, this was not always the case. Asbestos-related diseases are not illnesses of the industrial past but very real conditions which affect people in Dundee today.
“As this particular case is ongoing, we cannot comment further at this stage.”
Diffuse pleural thickening is the term used for the expansion of the pleural membrane that covers the lungs. It most commonly leads to worsening shortness of breath and also tightness in the chest, as the lungs are prevented from fully expanding when you breathe in.
There is currently no treatment available for those suffering from the illness.
Rounded atelectasis is a type of lung collapse often caused by conditions such as diffuse pleural thickening.
A Dundee City Council spokesman said: “It would be inappropriate for the council to comment on an ongoing legal case.”