Family Seeking Answers from Former Workmates Following Lung Cancer Death

Industrial Disease Lawyers Investigating West Denton Man’s Asbestos Exposure


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

The family of the late Frederick Norman Gregan, from West Denton, known to his friends and family as Fred, are continuing his fight for answers after his death from lung cancer and asbestosis linked to his exposure to asbestos during his working life.


After being ill for some time and being diagnosed with the disease in early 2015 Fred instructed expert industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his exposure to asbestos.


Sadly, Fred died in November 2015 at the age of 86. During an inquest into his death on 26 April 2016 the Coroner recorded that the death was due to Industrial Disease.


His nieces, Carole Bates and Eileen Brown, representing the family, are continuing to work with Irwin Mitchell and would like to hear from Fred’s former colleagues.


Fred told his family and his legal team at Irwin Mitchell that he believed he was exposed to asbestos during his time working as a joiner for a number of companies in the North-East, including EFF Constable, D H Allen, the Co-Operative Wholesale Society (CWS) and Stanley Miller Limited.


Roger Maddocks, a Partner and expert industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who is representing the family, said:


Expert Opinion
“Asbestos can have a severe impact on the health of those who came into contact with the material decades afterwards and in many cases, like Fred’s, the exposure sadly causes conditions and diseases people never recover from.

“The development of symptoms associated with asbestos exposure can take decades so often victims are elderly and unable to remember exactly how and where they were exposed to the material.

“Fred was able to provide some details on his career as a joiner across the North-East and we are now looking to reach some his former colleagues at EFF Constable, D H Allen, the Co-Operative Wholesale Society and Stanley Miller Limited.

“Asbestos was commonly used in construction during the time Fred was working so it is likely he came into contact with the material then. We’re hoping to find out about the safety measures, if any, put in place by his former employers to protect staff and also information on the kind of warnings provided to those who worked with asbestos products regularly.

“Fred’s family are continuing the fight for justice Fred began shortly before his death and we hope those who worked with him will come forward and provide the details we need.”
Roger Maddocks, Partner


Fred was an apprentice joiner at EFF Constable in the late 1940s and spent much of his time there working on Westerhope Primary School, which involved cutting sheets of asbestos for the roof.


He then went on to work as a shopfitter at D H Allen in the 1950s before moving to the building department within the Co-Operative Wholesale Society. He told his family his work involved working at building sites across the North-East.


During his time at Stanley Miller Limited, from 1968 until his retirement in 1994, he spent the majority of his time working at the Fenwicks store in Newcastle city centre and conducted regular renovations to the store.


His niece Carole said: “Fred’s illness really hit him hard and he went downhill very fast after he was diagnosed with asbestosis and lung cancer. It was quite a shock to find out the health problems he was suffering were due to his exposure to asbestos at work.


“I want to keep fighting for answers about his illnesses as he told me he was never given any breathing equipment or masks at any point in his career, so I feel he was let down by his employers.


“I hope people will come forward and help me get the answers Fred started looking for before he died.”


Anyone with information about working conditions at EFF Constable, D H Allen, the Co-Operative Wholesale Society and Stanley Miller Limited should contact Emma Tordoff at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0104 or email

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure, our expert asbestos lung cancer claims team could help you claim compensation. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.