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I head up the Asbestos-Related Disease team in Bristol. I specialise exclusively in helping people and their families who are suffering illness because of asbestos exposure. I've been working in this field for most of my working life and am very passionate about helping people who are affected by these diseases, through no fault of their own and usually many years after the exposure happened. I'm often working with clients at a time when they were looking forward to enjoying their retirement.
I work hard to make everything run as smoothly as possible for my clients and therefore seek to resolve claims as quickly as possible. I am qualified as a solicitor in Canada as well as England and Wales. I often speak at conferences and in 2013 chaired a ground-breaking conference on inquests and post-mortems in mesothelioma deaths.
“Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust fibres. It is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,500 people in the UK every year.
“We are investigating Barbara’s exposure during her time at the school of nursing at Barnet Hospital and are incredibly grateful to have been contacted by a witness who kept very detailed records of her time there, which corresponds with Barbara’s employment.
“We now hope to speak to more witnesses who either worked or studied at the school in the 1970s and 1980s and have any information about the renovations carried out on the premises, the presence of asbestos dust and what measures were in place to protect staff from exposure to the dust and fibres.
“We hope to help Barbara and her family understand why she was exposed to asbestos.”
“Concerns regarding the presence of asbestos in schools have not diminished and the Chronicle’s FOI request highlights the number of people who could be affected if the material was incorrectly managed or disturbed.
“We have repeatedly called upon Government to introduce a full risk register to document the presence of asbestos in public buildings including schools, and for that the register to be maintained through a programme of regular and robust inspections.
“Transparency and clarity are essential here and we feel that those who work at or visit sites where asbestos is present, such as schools and hospitals, should also be informed of the fact.
“Asbestos exposure is often linked to industrial environments or trade professions, but we are seeing more and more cases where people have been exposed within schools years before diagnosis. This is an issue which requires urgent attention and it is vital that Government takes steps on the matter.”
“Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes much distress to victims and their families.
"Through our work we represent a large number of people who develop mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos decades ago.
“Many individuals simply were not made aware of the dangers of working in the vicinity of asbestos lagging that was in a poor state of repair and sadly employers often did not do enough to manage the risk of asbestos exposure even as late as the 1980s when extensive legislation had already been passed.
“We are now appealing to any of Bryan’s former colleagues who worked at Brimsdown Power Station to come forward and provide us with information in respect of his working conditions at the site in the 1950s.
“It is really important for Bryan and his family to have answers around his illness, so any information, however insignificant it may seem, could be helpful.”
“This is a tragic case in which a woman has been diagnosed with mesothelioma simply by being exposed to asbestos dust as she washed her husband’s overalls in the 1960s to 1980s.
“Barbara was just trying to care for her family but she now faces a difficult future as her mesothelioma progresses and causes her health to deteriorate.
“Employers were aware of the dangers of asbestos during the period that Barbara was exposed to asbestos but sadly too many companies did not do enough to protect their workers or their families from the dangers.
“Mesothelioma is a terrible disease and unfortunately there is no cure. It takes decades after exposure to the harmful dust and fibres before symptoms develop, so those who fall victim to asbestos-related diseases can often not recall the exact circumstances surrounding their exposure.
“We are determined to get the answers Barbara needs about her exposure to asbestos and we are calling on Matt’s former colleagues, as well as his brothers, Eddie and Willie Hernon, to come forward with any information they may have that can help Barbara.”
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