Heartbroken Family Of Former Power Station Worker Seek Justice After Asbestos Death

Specialist Asbestos Lawyers Issue Court Proceedings


Specialist workplace illness lawyers have issued legal proceedings against a chemical manufacturing company in a bid to secure the family of a former worker who died from an asbestos-related cancer justice for his death.

John Gerald McLeod, who was known as Ian, died aged 66 on 4 August 2011 at home after a year long battle with asbestosis and lung cancer, caused by exposure to deadly asbestos dust and fibres. 

Before his death, the dad-of-two from Longlands in Middlesbrough, told his wife Eileen that he believed he was exposed to asbestos while working for chemical manufacturing company Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) at their Billingham Plant between 1968 and 1970 and at their Wilton Plant between 1979 and 1994 as a rigger. 

Devastated by her loss, Eileen instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to find out whether more could have been done by the company to protect her husband of 45 years from exposure to the deadly dust. The firm has now launched legal proceedings against ICI after the company refused to admit liability.

Ian was responsible for erecting scaffolding to allow other labourers to lag the power stations’ extensive maze of pipe work. He recalled the scaffolding boards were always covered in asbestos dust and he regularly had to chip old asbestos off the scaffolding. 

Expert Opinion
Mr McLeod’s family have been completely devastated by their loss and hope to seek justice after losing him so suddenly.

“Asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer are aggressive illnesses which cause so much distress for victims like Ian and their families who worked in industrial settings such as power stations, where we know asbestos was regularly used.

“Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure despite knowing how dangerous it is. We hope that by issuing court proceedings we can finally find some answers for Ian’s family about his exposure so they can have the justice they deserve.”
Roger Maddocks, Partner

Ian first started to show the symptoms of asbestosis and lung cancer in June 2010 when he suffered from a cough and breathlessness. Tests and scans at the James Cook Hospital in June confirmed he was suffering from asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer. In the last few months of his life he struggled to walk and relied on a wheelchair to get out and about. He died of lung cancer on 4 August - just two months after he received the heart breaking diagnosis.

Ian and Eileen met in March 1965 at Middlesbrough General Hospital where Eileen was a nurse and Ian, a seaman at the time, was treated for a hand injury. They were married on 22 July the following year.

He leaves behind two children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

His wife Eileen, age 69, said: “The whole family have really struggled to come to terms with the loss of Ian, it came as such as shock as his health declined so rapidly. We were married for 45 years so I feel completely lost without him.

“He told me a lot about his work at the power station and Cyanide Plant at ICI and said it was a tough job and a really dusty environment to work in. He said he remembered asbestos was widely used throughout ICI’s plant and he worked directly alongside the fitters and laggers who mixed the asbestos paste before applying it to the pipe work. 

“We hope that with help from our legal team at Irwin Mitchell that we will finally gain justice for Ian so we can finally honour his memory after losing him in such a terrible way.”

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.