Family Of Former Mechanical Engineer Appeal For Information After Mesothelioma Death

Industrial Illness Experts At Irwin Mitchell Investigating Asbestos Exposure

21.05.2015

A Leeds family are appealing to their father’s former colleagues for information about the working conditions that he would have faced in order to help specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell investigate whether more could have been done to protect him from exposure to asbestos.

Paul Blakeborough, who was originally from Leeds and spent much of his life in Chapel Allerton, died on 17 December 2014, just four weeks after being diagnosed with mesothelioma – a terminal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. 

He first started to show the debilitating symptoms including breathlessness in October 2014 and when doctors carried out investigations he was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma. Sadly his condition was too advanced to treat and he died at home.

Before his death, Paul told his family he believed he came into contact with asbestos while working as a miller and mechanical engineer at the Royal Ordnance Factory, Leeds. He worked there from 1971 to 1979 when he chose to take redundancy.

Paul, a grandfather-of-one, had also worked at Rose Forgrove Limited from 1966 to 1970 as an apprentice fitter and turner and he also believed he may have been exposed to the deadly dust and fibres during his time at the company.

His family have instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the working conditions Paul was exposed to during his time at Royal Ordnance Factory and Rose Forgrove Limited.

The lawyers and Paul’s family are now appealing to his former colleagues to come forward with any information on the conditions at the companies, details on the presence of asbestos and the protection in place to prevent exposure to the material.

Nicola Handley, a specialist industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, representing the family, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress for victims like Paul who worked in industries where asbestos was regularly used. Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure, despite knowing the risks it posed.

“We hope that Paul’s former co-workers who worked at the Royal Ordnance Factory and Rose Forgrove Limited will come forward to help answer the many questions his family has about his exposure as well as what measures, if any, were in place to protect employees like him. It’s important that we now help his family get answers about his exposure to the deadly dust.”

Paul’s son, Craig, recalls his father talking about his time working at the Royal Ordnance factory and Rose Forgrove Limited and is hopeful that former colleagues and employees may also recall the conditions and come forward to assist in their fight for justice. 

Craig, said: “My father talked about his time at Rose Forgrove Limited and the Royal Ordnance Factory with pride. He completed his apprenticeship at these companies and became a skilled employee.

“We really hope that people will now help the team at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the conditions he worked in so we can finally honour his memory and get the answers we deserve about his condition.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at Rose Forgrove Limited or the Royal Ordnance Factory should contact Nicola Handley at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office on 0113 220 6233 or email Nicola.handley@irwinmitchell.com