Washington Man Appeals to Former Co-Workers in Battle for Justice

Retired Worker Searches For Former Colleagues In Justice Bid

21.12.2010

21/12/2010

A retired construction worker whose life has been left devastated after he developed a serious respiratory condition following years of exposure to asbestos is hoping his former colleagues can help in his fight for justice.

Colin Atkinson, 64, of Washington, was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in August 2010 just five months after first experiencing symptoms.

Mr Atkinson, formerly of Houghton-le-Spring, believes he was negligently exposed to asbestos on a regular basis whilst working across the North East of England for Brixabur Builders, D and J Ranken Ltd, CM Yuill Ltd and Pyrex (now known as Corning Optical Fiber).

Following his diagnosis earlier this year Mr Atkinson turned to industrial illness specialists at the Newcastle office of Irwin Mitchell to help in his bid to secure justice.

Newcastle Asbestos Lawyer Appeals For Information

Isobel Lovett, associate solicitor and industrial illness specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said they were keen to hear from his former colleagues who may be able to help.

She said: “We are looking for Mr Atkinson’s former colleagues to come forward with information on working conditions regardless of whether they knew him on a personal level.

“At each of the four companies that we are investigating Mr Atkinson would regularly work closely with asbestos whether it was to assist in cutting asbestos sheets to size or while working with old asbestos lagging during factory renovations or mixing up fresh asbestos insulation.

“Mesothelioma is a particularly vicious disease which usually strikes decades after the exposure to asbestos took place. It often affects people of around retirement age who have done nothing but work hard throughout their working lives to provide for their families.”

As a keen cyclist Mr Atkinson sought medical attention from his GP after he started to experience breathlessness whilst cycling and after he started to struggle to cut the lawn without taking a break. 

Mr Atkinson added: “I was completely devastated when I received my diagnosis and I’m dismayed that my old employers chose to disregard my safety, and the safety of my former colleagues, so easily – even though they will have known and understood the risks that working with asbestos posed to us.

“My life has been shattered by my illness and I’ve had to give up so much of the things I used to enjoy such as cycling, walking, gardening and even cooking for my wife. I also find it hard to play with my young grandchildren. Before my illness I was a relatively fit and healthy person.”

Isobel Lovett of Irwin Mitchell is interested in speaking to employees who worked for Brixabur Builders from 1963 to 1965, D and J Ranken Ltd between 1965 and 1966 and again from 1975 to 1976 and CM Yuill Ltd between 1969 and 1977 and Corning Optical Fiber (formerly Pyrex) from 1976 to 1978.

Anyone who has any information should contact Isobel Lovett at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0100.