Former Darlington Bricklayer Appeals For Help After Asbestosis Diagnosis

Expert Asbestos-Related Illness Lawyers Helping Victim To Seek Justice

25.11.2014

A retired North East bricklayer is appealing to his former workmates to help his legal battle for justice after he was diagnosed with asbestosis, a condition caused by exposure to asbestos decades ago.

Anthony Walden, 78, from Darlington suffered with pneumonia in 2012 and spent a number of days being treated at Darlington Memorial Hospital, where he underwent chest x-rays. He was told that the x-rays had found he was suffering from asbestosis, a chronic lung condition caused by inhaling asbestos dust and fibres many years ago.

Mr Walden has now asked expert industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office to assist him in understanding where and why he was exposed to the deadly substance and if more could have been done by his previous employers to protect him from asbestos dust and fibres during his working life.

He is seeking justice and a settlement which will be used to provide vital care and support he will need to help him cope with the symptoms of the condition. He told expert asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell that he believes he was exposed to asbestos dust during his time in the building trade as a bricklayer. 

Mr Walden is now appealing to his former colleagues to come forward to help with the investigation and provide details of the working conditions they were exposed to and of any measures that were in place to prevent them coming into contact with asbestos dust and fibres.

Mr Walden trained as a bricklayer at R Blackett & Son Limited in Darlington between 1951 and 1957, where he worked on a number of building projects, including an extension to office blocks at British Titan in Stockton and the construction of the Winterton Hospital in Sedgefield.

He spent a number of months working in the boiler room, which was dusty, as an old boiler and pipework which were lagged with asbestos were removed, leading to asbestos dust and fibres being released into the air.

After two years’ National Service in the Royal Air Force, he returned to work at R Blackett & Son in 1959, where he remained employed until 1966. After leaving the company he was employed as a bricklayer by building contractor, L C Abdale Limited, in Darlington.

During his time with the company as a bricklayer he worked on a warehouse on Whessoe Road, which he recalled had an asbestos roof. Mr Walden remembers the asbestos sheeting being broken up and laying on the floor where he worked.

Mr Walden returned to work for R Blackett & Son between 1971 and 1976 as a bricklayer and worked on buildings at Stillingworth School, where he believes he was once again exposed to asbestos.

During 1981 and 1982 Mr Walden worked for Darlington Council, where he was involved in refurbishing local authority housing at Firth Moor and Shakespeare Road. While employed in this role he knocked down internal walls and rebuilt them, which led to him being exposed to asbestos used in the heating systems.

Isobel Lovett, an expert industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, representing Mr Walden, said: 

Anthony said: “I was absolutely shocked and devastated when I was diagnosed with asbestosis, as my brother and a friend died from the same condition. It already affects my breathing and I am worried about the impact it will have on my life as it worsens.

“I have always been fit and healthy and I am anxious to stay independent, but I already have to rely on others to help me get to hospital appointments and I am worried about what will happen in the future, as my sisters do not live close by. 

“I am extremely angry that more was not done to protect me and my colleagues from exposure to asbestos and I hope this legal action will ensure others do not have to go through the same problems I am. Hopefully my former colleagues will come forward with the information we need to progress the case and ensure justice is done.”

Anyone who thinks they may be able to help is asked to contact either Isobel Lovett or Emma Tordoff at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors on 0191 279 0104 or email emma.tordoff@irwinmitchell.com.

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