Lollipop Man Appeals To Former Joinery Firm Workmates For Help After Asbestos Cancer Diagnosis

Industrial Disease Experts Instructed To Help In Legal Battle For Answers

24.04.2014

A retired Manchester worker who has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer is appealing to his former workmates from the 1960’s for help as he launches a legal battle for justice.

Paul Medd, 66, from Stretford in Manchester, was left devastated when he was diagnosed in January this year with mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs caused by inhaling deadly asbestos dust in the past.

The father-of-three asked industrial illness experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to help him hold his past employers to account for causing his cancer,  so he can seek justice and a settlement which will provide vital care and support as he deals with the terminal illness and future financial security for his family.

Mr Medd believes he was frequently exposed to asbestos whilst working for E E Coleman Ltd, a firm of joiners and building contractors based on Waverley Road in Sale Manchester between 1965 and 1970. Mr Medd worked for the firm as an apprentice joiner whilst also going to night school. Paul worked in the joinery workshop. The firm made doors, benches, window frames, staircase fittings and cupboards and installed them in hospitals. The owner of the firm was Mr E. Coleman and the manager was Mr Johnson.

Paul worked with asbestos sheets on many jobs, He made asbestos-clad fire screens and asbestos-insulated fire doors during his apprenticeship.  Paul was never told about the dangers of asbestos and no safety precautions at all were in place.

After his retirement Paul went to work as a lollipop man near the schools on Dain View Road in Sale but sadly, due to the chemotherapy he is receiving it seems he may have to resign from his role.

Megan Christie, an expert asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, leading the case, said: “Paul and his family have been left devastated by his diagnosis of mesothelioma and they are desperate to see justice done.

“Paul’s employer should have known about the risks of using asbestos in the 1960’s. They did not do enough to protect their workers from the harmful dust. Too many people are suffering from asbestos disease today because their employers took chances and cut corners in years gone by.

“Paul’s former employer has gone out of business and we need to trace who their employers liability insurers were in the 1960’s.

Unless we can trace the insurers Paul will not be fully compensated. A new scheme comes into action this year to make payments in claims where the insurers cannot be traced but payments are lower than claims where insurers are traced.

We  are asking Paul’s former workmates to come forward to help us identify who the firm’s insurers were in the 1960’s. Anyone with information about working practices at EE Coleman are also asked to get in touch.

Paul said: “I am angry and upset that my life will be cut short because of this cancer. To learn that this cancer has come from asbestos and could have been prevented if safety measures had been taken is hard to swallow.

"I am going through chemotherapy at the moment. I love my job as a lollipop man helping people safely cross the road and I love the community feel. I know I won’t be able to work for much longer.

“Hopefully someone who I worked with at EE Coleman Ltd will come forward with information.”

Anyone who thinks they may be able to help is asked to contact Megan Christie at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors on 0161 838 5595 or email megan.christie@irwinmitchell.com