Retired Painter And Decorator Appeals For Information Following Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Asbestos Lawyers Investigating Exposure At Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd

18.11.2015

A retired painter and decorator who has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer is appealing for his former colleagues to help expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether more could have been done by his employers to protect him from the deadly dust. 

Donald Watson, from Easingwold, near York, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a terminal asbestos-related cancer caused by exposure to asbestos in February this year.

Donald was originally from the Gateshead area in Tyneside and he went into the painting and decorating trade after he left school.  

He worked for several companies in the Newcastle area during his working life but believes his exposure to asbestos would have occurred while working for Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd.

Donald recalls working on a Portuguese ship which may have been SSP Principe Perfeito, the only Portuguese passenger ship built by Swan Hunter in 1961, when Donald worked for the company.

The 81-year-old instructed industrial disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the working conditions at his former employers and his legal team are now appealing to anyone who worked at Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd to come forward with any information to help secure justice for him.

Nicola Handley, a specialist industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, representing Donald, said:

Expert Opinion
“Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress for victims like Donald who worked in industries where asbestos was regularly used particularly in the shipbuilding industry. Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure, despite knowing how dangerous it is.

“We hope that former employees who worked at Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd will come forward to help us with our investigations. It’s important that we now help Donald and his family get answers about his exposure to the deadly dust.”
Nicola Handley, Solicitor

During his time at Swan Hunter his daily tasks related to painting and decorating ships. He regularly painted in areas such as the engine room, corridors and cabins. He also recalls sanding down pipework and painting it, as well as working in the vicinity of pipework lagged with asbestos.

He started to feel unwell in 2014 and following a referral and investigations, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Donald said: “I was very shocked by the diagnosis and am coming to terms with it. I’m managing to cope on a daily basis and I just make sure that I don’t overdo things.

“I never knew that the work that I did so many years about would affect my life now. I really hope that former employees will now help the team at Irwin Mitchell to give any information about the conditions that I worked in so my family and I can get the justice that I deserve.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at the above company’s should contact Nicola Handley at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office on 0113 220 6233 or email Nicola.handley@irwinmitchell.com.  

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, our expert mesothelioma lawyers could help you claim compensation. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.