Appeal For Information On Working Conditions Faced By Father-Of-Four
The family of West Yorkshire joiner who died from an asbestos-related cancer is calling on his former workmates for information to help establish how he developed the disease.
Father-of-four Paul Brown, from Driffield, passed away in October 2019 at the age of 77, just six weeks after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. A terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos decades previously.
Following Paul’s death, his family instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at national firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and whether it could have been linked to his work history in Birstall and Batley, where he lived and worked most of his life.
As part of the ongoing investigation, the legal experts are now seeking more information on the conditions Paul would have faced while working for two companies in particular – Peter Ellis & Sons Ltd and Mark L Sykes Limited.
The appeal is being made as Global Asbestos Awareness Week approaches.
Expert Opinion“Paul’s family are among many who are affected by mesothelioma, losing someone close seemingly many years after asbestos exposure occurred.
They continue to struggle to come to terms with losing him, and hold many questions regarding how he went on to develop the illness.
While nothing can change what happened to Paul, we are determined to help his loved ones establish the source of the disease. We would therefore be grateful to hear from anyone that may have worked with him and could shed light on the conditions he may have faced.”
Oliver Collett - Senior Associate Solicitor
Paul was employed as an apprentice joiner by Peter Ellis & Sons Ltd at Atlas Works, Warwick Road, Batley between 1958 and 1965. His role involved working in churches, working men’s clubs, banks and new buildings, which included fitting bars, floors and ceilings.
Prior to his death, Paul told the legal experts that during his time here he worked with wood and laminate, and he also made wooden doors which he recalled were filled with asbestos
He went on to work as a joiner for Mark L Sykes Limited in the Beeston area of Leeds, around the late 1960s/early 1970s. The company made moulds for boilers and furnaces from mud which were then filled out and cut.
He remembered seeing workers with large sacks of “fine white powder” which was mixed with water and tipped over the pipework. Years later he realised the powder was asbestos and that he had been “breathing” it in.
Paul had four daughters – Julie, Michelle, Sharon and Heidi – and lived with his partner of 29 years Christina Greenwood.
He first began to feel unwell in January 2019 when he developed symptoms of chest pain. By August 2019, it was suspected that he was suffering from mesothelioma. He underwent biopsies and was formally diagnosed early September.
Paul’s daughter Julie said: “We miss dad terribly every single day.”
“Watching him deteriorate was devastating, especially knowing that there was nothing we could do to help him.
“Sadly nothing will change what happened to dad, but coming to terms with it has been more difficult as we still don’t know what led him to develop mesothelioma.
“We would therefore be grateful to hear from anyone who can help with the investigation.”
Anyone with information that could assist with this case is asked to contact Oliver Collett at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office on 0113 3946784 or by e-mail at Oliver.Collett@IrwinMitchell.com.
Global Asbestos Awareness Week runs from 1 to 7 April and aims to raise awareness of the prevention of exposure to asbestos.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos-related disease cases