Important Step For Widow Determined To Get Answers Following Her Husband’s Asbestos-Related Death

Specialist Lawyers Issue Court Proceedings Against Companies Following Asbestos Investigation


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

Specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have issued court proceedings against the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Vickers Armstrong in a bid to secure justice for the family of a Blaydon man who died from mesothelioma.

James Rooney died in July 2014 at the age of 85 after a short battle with the disease - a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos decades ago.

Before his death, James, and his wife Wendy instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where he was exposed to the deadly dust.

James told his legal team that he believed he came into contact with asbestos while working for Vickers Armstrong between 1971 and 1972 where he assembled large press machines at the company’s Scotswood Road facility.

He also recalled being exposed to asbestos while working as a delivery driver from the DWP from 1983 to 1993. Asbestos-lagged pipework was present at the offices at Long Benton in the old boiler room which he and his fellow drivers used as a break room.

James used the break room daily and recalled that the lagging was in poor condition and broken in places. He said the lagging was often left on the floor, where it was regularly disturbed and would float in the atmosphere. He was not warned asbestos was present until around 5 years after he began working at the DWP, when the lagging was removed. James recalled the environment being very dusty.

Roger Maddocks, a Partner in the asbestos-related disease team at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, said:

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“This is a tragic case in which a man lost his life due to inhaling asbestos dust and fibres during the course of his daily work many years ago.

“Understandably, Wendy is absolutely devastated by the loss of her husband of 45 years. Thankfully James was able to provide us with details of where he was exposed to asbestos and we have now issued proceedings against Vickers Armstrong and the DWP as we seek to bring her legal case to a close.

“We hope that we can finally find the answers Wendy needs about why James was not protected from the asbestos that led to mesothelioma which caused him so much pain in his final months.”
Roger Maddocks, Partner

Wendy added: “After James’ diagnosis he was determined to get answers and justice for his illness but unfortunately he died before this could happen. Now that proceedings have been issued against the DWP and Vickers it feels like I have taken a step closer to securing justice for James.

“Nothing will ever replace the hole James’ death left in my life but I’m determined to continue this process and raise awareness of the terrible impact exposure to asbestos can have on people’s lives.”