Mother Sues for Schoolyard Asbestos Exposure

A 45-year-old United Kingdom mother is suing the building demolition company she claims exposed her to the asbestos that caused her terminal lung cancer.

Penny Garner, a mother of three, claims that she was exposed to asbestos while playing in her schoolyard as a child in the 1970s. At that time, a building that contained asbestos was demolished next door, as this story in the Manchester Evening News explains. Decades after the exposure, Garner developed chest pains that were initially misdiagnosed as the symptoms of a pulled muscle, then pneumonia.

But 18 months after the pain began, Garner was diagnosed with lung cancer. As she hadn’t worked around asbestos, her exposure to it was a mystery. After her lung cancer diagnosis, hospital staff told her about a group that might help her take legal action. With the help of questioning from her asbestos lawyer, Garner’s brother remembered the demolition of the building next to the schoolyard. Garner is now taking legal action against the local municipal government, and the company that she claims exposed her to the asbestos.

The company denies any wrongdoing.

According to Garner’s asbestos lawyer, cases of younger people with asbestos-related diseases who were not exposed to asbestos in the workplace are on the rise. “This case is unusual because Penny is so young and has not worked with asbestos, but we are seeing more cases like this over the last few years.”

Despite two years of treatment, Garner has been told that her asbestos lung cancer is incurable. She doesn’t know how long she has to live. “It is terrifying that I could catch a terminal disease from playing in the yard at school and now all my friends from that time are worried too,” says Garner. “My mother is terrified for my brother who is a couple of years older than me.”

If you have been diagnosed with asbestos lung cancer or mesothelioma you may be entitled to financial compensation, even if you do not know how you were exposed. An experienced asbestos lawyer can help investigate your exposure.