Ship Painter Seeks Former Colleagues To Assist With Asbestosis Investigations

Industrial Illness Specialists At Law Firm Irwin Mitchell Seek Information From Ship Workers In Battle For Justice



A former ship painter who has been coming to terms with the traumatic news he is suffering from asbestosis has appealed for his ex-work colleagues to help investigate how he was exposed to the toxic material which caused his illness.

James McCully, 73, of East Kilbride in Glasgow, was diagnosed with the asbestos-related lung condition in February 2013 following tests carried out at Hairmyres Hospital after suffering shortness of breath and chesty coughs.

Industrial illness experts at Irwin Mitchell Scotland representing the pensioner believe his illness was caused by exposure to asbestos during his work for Barclay Curle & Co, a ship building yard in Whiteinch, Glasgow between 1966 and 1967. The law firm also believe he may have been exposed between 1967 and 1968 whilst working for Yarrow & Co, another ship building company based in Glasgow . 

During James’s employment at Barclay Curle & Co, he would paint pipes in the engine and pump rooms of ships including the ‘Vitkovice’ which were lagged with asbestos. James recalls the areas he worked across the ship being very dusty but was never provided with the appropriate protective clothing or equipment.

James also told lawyers that he may have been exposed to asbestos during his work for Yarrow & Co where he painted cabin rooms which he alleges were ‘constantly dusty’.

The grandfather-of-eight is now working with lawyers at Irwin Mitchell Scotland to appeal for information from his former colleagues who may be able to confirm the presence of asbestos in his working environment.

Laura McCallum, an expert asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office leading the case, said: “The asbestosis diagnosis was inevitably a terrible blow for James  and his family. He has several children and grandchildren that are extremely concerned and quite rightly they are seeking answers as to how he was exposed to the asbestos which caused his illness.

“We’re keen to speak to anybody who worked with James at either the Barclay Curle & Co shipping yard in the mid 60’s or who worked for Yarrow & Co between 1967 and 68. We believe former colleagues could hold vital evidence about the presence of asbestos and the working conditions he may have faced.

 “Companies have been aware of the dangers of asbestos since the 1950s so there is no excuse for James not being provided with the appropriate protection from the deadly dust.”

James, who now lives alone after his wife died two years ago, said: “Since my diagnosis I have had an awful cough and I can no longer do tasks like washing the windows or cleaning up without becoming short of breath. I constantly rely on my grandchildren and other members of the family to come round and help me.

“I’m devastated that my illness could have been caused simply by working alongside pipework lagged with asbestos.

“Now we just want answers as to why I was made to work in those conditions without the appropriate protection or told how hazardous the substance was. I just hope people come forward to assist so that I can focus on spending quality time with my family.”

Anyone who thinks they can help is asked to contact Laura McCallum on 0141 300 4083 at Irwin Mitchell or email