Father-Of-Four Died One Month After Being Diagnosed With Mesothelioma
The family of a father-of-four from Newcastle, who died last year, are appealing to his former colleagues for help after he instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his exposure to asbestos before his death.
John Smith, 75, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2017 before passing away on 12th November. Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos often decades before symptoms begin to show.
Prior to this death, the former Scottish and Newcastle Breweries Ltd worker instructed asbestos-related disease specialists at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office to investigate his exposure to the deadly dust, and why more was not done by his employers to protect him.
His family are continuing the action in order to get justice for John, and their legal team at Irwin Mitchell have issued court proceedings against John’s former employer.
Now, together with his legal team, John’s family are appealing to his former colleagues at Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, between 1967 to the early 1980’s to come forward and provide vital information on the presence of asbestos that could help them in their efforts to secure him justice.
Roger Maddocks, a specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office who is representing John’s family, said:
Expert Opinion“This case is like so many we have been involved in, with our client developing mesothelioma decades after his initial exposure to asbestos.
“We are undertaking a number of investigations in an effort to help John’s family gain answers regarding his illness. As part of this, we are keen to know more about the working environment that he faced during his time at Scottish and Newcastle Breweries.
“Any information could prove vital so we would urge anyone who worked with John to please get in touch as soon as possible.” Roger Maddocks - Partner
During his time working for the brewery, which made Newcastle Brown Ale, John was employed as a window cleaner initially before becoming a process operator. While working as a window cleaner, John recalled to his legal team that he would have to climb over pipework which he believes was lagged with asbestos.
The nature of his work changed when he became a process operator and John would have to remove the lagging from the pipework in order to carry out repairs. This would involve him removing the asbestos by hand, leaving asbestos dust and fibres lingering in the air which would then be inhaled by workers.
John’s widow, Gillian, 72, who was married to John for 53 years, said: “John’s diagnosis came as a complete shock to him and the family. We were angry and frustrated to find out that it was likely caused by his exposure to asbestos during his early working life.
“He would talk to me about his working environment and he described it as generally very dusty. When he got home, his work clothes would have the dust and fibres that he had disturbed in the day on them.”
John first began to notice symptoms during the summer when he developed a persistent cough and suffered from a shortness of breath.
Speaking about the effects of his diagnosis, Gillian added: “The disease had such a swift and devastating impact on him. It was heartbreaking to see.
“The whole family just wants some justice for him and I urge any of John’s former colleagues to contact our legal team at Irwin Mitchell if they feel they can provide any details that can help this investigation and get justice for John.”
Anyone with information should contact Sonia Akram 0191 434 0719 or email Sonia.Akram@IrwinMitchell.com.