Esso and Nestle are giants in the food and drinks industry and these companies are facing many legal claims worth millions of pounds. These claims are made by the former workers who have contracted diseases from exposure to asbestos.
Last week, a British court ordered that Esso has to pay £300,000 to the widow of a former worker of Esso who died because of an asbestos-related disease. The Esso Petroleum Company was ordered to pay £300,000 to the widow of Micheal Streets, who was a worker at the Fawley oil refinery in Hampshire.
A private members bill has been introduced in the House of Lords to help the victims of asbestos-related conditions. The trade union is also demanding compensation for sufferers of pleural plaques, an asbestos-related condition.
According to a legal ruling in October 2007, pleural plaque patients are not eligible for any kind of compensation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but the workers are building pressure to change the law. According to trade unions, insurance companies could face claims upto £1.4bn, after the law changes.
Elaine Otway, the daughter of Robert Otway who died from mesothelioma, an asbestos related disease, in September 2006 brought the case against Nestle. The family of Robert Oatway is expecting to get around £150,000 in compensation