Widow’s Search For Aston University Workers After Husband Dies From Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos exposure at Aston University

14.01.2009

The widow of a Birmingham man who died after being exposed to asbestos is appealing for work colleagues to come forward to help with her claim for compensation.

68-year-old James Harrison, from Billesley died on 6 August 2007 from mesothelioma, the fatal asbestos-related lung disease.

Mr Harrison, known as ‘Jim’ to his friends, is thought to have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibres whilst working for Aston University from 1990 to 2000.

He was employed as a porter and worked at the James Gracie Centre in Moseley – an old Tudor house which was used by the university as a conference venue. During his employment, Mr Harrison was involved in regularly visiting the boiler house connected to the Centre and it is believed that during this process he came into contact with asbestos.

Mr Harrison’s widow, Mary, commented: "Following the diagnosis of mesothelioma in June 2007, Jim’s condition continued to worsen.

"He became anxious and worried and during the last few months leading up to his death, Jim really suffered. His condition deteriorated quickly, he lost a lot of weight and he became frustrated at the acceleration of his illness and his inability to do things. His energy levels dropped dramatically and he constantly felt weak and tired. He looked terrible and it was awful seeing him in this way. He passed away on 6 August 2007 and has left behind a family who miss him terribly."

Tariq Khan from the Birmingham office of law firm Irwin Mitchell represents the Harrison family.

He explained: "Mr Harrison’s inquest was held on 12 December 2007 – poignantly on what would have been his 69th birthday. The Birmingham coroner returned a verdict of industrial disease and it is vital, in order for his family to continue with his claim for compensation, that people who have information concerning the James Gracie Centre and in particular those who worked in the Centre, come forward to assist us with our enquiries."

Anyone able to help in this matter can contact Tariq Khan at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or by email: tariq.khan@irwinmitchell.com