Asbestos Tragedy Robs Decades Of Life From Stockton Man

Appeal Launched To Help Battle For Justice

11.10.2011

A Stockton man was killed by asbestos-related lung cancer before he could see his grandson grow up – and now his widow has launched a legal battle for justice.

Communications company director John Brown was aged just 45 when he passed away in April 2010 of lung cancer, which had been diagnosed in November 2009.

Mr Brown had been routinely exposed to asbestos whilst working in close proximity to asbestos-lagged pipework whilst installing cables and wiring for TV systems in a multitude of locations from the early 1980s to the late 1990s.

Now his wife, Pauline, and family, have launched a bid for justice against his former employers, Stockton-based A&A Installations, the contractor Davies Security Communications Ltd (AKA Davis Safety Controls) and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

The have turned to industrial illness experts at the North East office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell for help to track down information that could help their case, ahead of an inquest into Mr Brown’s death at Teesside Magistrates Court on 24th October 2011.

Isobel Lovett, the lawyer representing the family, said: “This is a shockingly young age at which to lose a family member to an asbestos-related condition. Our cases often highlight the devastating plight of asbestos victims who have been robbed of their retirement years – but Mr Brown was just 45 and should have had decades left to live.

“Mr Brown became a grandfather in late 2008 but will not see his grandson grow up nor the subsequent grandchildren born since his death as he should have been able to – asbestos can take up to 50 years to take its deadly effect but this proves it can also happen much more quickly.

“Mr Brown worked in a variety of locations for several employers and we would greatly appreciate the help of anybody who could perhaps expand on the information we already have – perhaps they worked with him or were aware of asbestos in these locations.”

Mr Brown first suffered breathlessness in August 2009 – he was diagnosed shortly afterwards with small-cell carcinoma lung cancer and died in April 2010. He started the legal action following the diagnosis in a bid to provide financial security for his family and the bid for justice has been continued in his memory by his widow.

Mrs Brown said: “John spent years installing cabling for a variety of reasons – from TV systems to emergency pull-cord systems in residential homes. He spent a lot of time in roof spaces in old council buildings, surrounded by asbestos lagging on boilers and pipework. There is a very long list of housing association stock on which he worked throughout the 1980s – we think he was exposed to asbestos every day whilst at work.

“He had a good relationship at the time with his employer at A&A Installations but he was never given any health and safety training and was never told that the asbestos was dangerous. They were only given masks when the house was particularly dirty or smelly and certainly not to protect the workers from the dusty conditions.

“The news that he had lung cancer at such a young age was utterly devastating for us all. John was always an incredibly hard worker and always said he would never willingly retire – he worked his way up from humble working class roots to become a successful company director.

“He was a loving husband, an excellent provider and was immensely proud to be a grandfather. I still cannot believe he has been taken from us by the work he loved so much.”

Anyone who has any information about the conditions in which Mr Brown worked at Stockton-based A&A Communications, Davies Security Communications or Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council should contact Isobel Lovett at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0124.

Our expert asbestos lung cancer solicitors will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved on has been diagnosed with lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.