Former Mechanic Appeals For Ex-Colleagues To Come Forward With Information On GE Wood and Arnold G Wilson
A former vehicle mechanic is appealing to his old colleagues for help in discovering how he came into contact with the asbestos that led to his terminal cancer diagnosis.
James Kell, from Pudsey, was diagnosed in March with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung linked with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following his diagnosis, the father-of 2 instructed asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and if it could be linked to his work history. The 63-year-old, known as Jim, has now joined with his legal team to appeal for any of his former workmates to come forward.
They are looking to trace anyone who worked with Jim at G.E. Woods scrap metal merchant in Leeds from 1975 to 1978 and at the Car dealers Arnold G Wilson from 1978 to 1984.
Expert Opinion“Through our work we’re instructed by many people whose lives are devastated by asbestos, many years after the initial exposure has occurred.
“Understandably Jim and his family are devastated by his diagnosis and what it may mean for the future. What’s particularly concerning is Jim has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in his 60s, a relatively young age at which to contract the disease.
“We’re now determined to support Jim and his family to at least secure the answers they deserve regarding his asbestos exposure.
“Therefore if anyone has information about the working conditions Jim would have faced, it could prove vital to our investigation." Nicola Handley, Senior Associate Solicitor
In 1975, Jim went to work for the scrap metal merchant G E Wood and stayed for three years. He believes he may have come into contact with asbestos when breaking up cars and also cutting lagging from pipework on the building. G E Wood are no longer trading and any information about the company would also be greatly received.
In 1978, Jim went to work for Arnold G Wilson as a vehicle mechanic. For the next six years, he was employed at its locations in Harrogate Road and Leeds, where he would regularly work on brakes and clutches. Jim recalled the dust that would gather in the air and surrounding work surfaces.
Jim left Arnold G Wilson in 1984 to go and work for the Ministry of Defence, again as a vehicle mechanic and spent the next 12 years working with car parts.
Married to Bernadette, Jim is a husband and father of 2 who in addition to spending time with his family, enjoys gardening and going to the cinema. Prior to his diagnosis, Jim was keen on DIY and had only recently finished renovating the family home but now struggles to continue pursuing his hobbies as he once did.
Jim’s symptoms started in October 2022 when he was admitted to A&E with chest pains. Following further investigations, including a CT scan, a mass was detected in his oesophageal curve and a biopsy confirmed that it was mesothelioma in March 2023. Due to the significant progression of the disease within the lining of his lungs, aorta and diaphragm, he was advised to have an extended pleurectomy.
Jim said: “Being admitted to hospital is always a worry but the mesothelioma diagnosis came as such a huge shock to me and the family. It all happened so quickly. One minute you’re fine and the next you’re facing surgery.
“The day I was diagnosed was the worst of my life. No one wants to be taken in a room and hear those words from a doctor. I’ve always been a positive person though and I’m determined to stay active and do all I can to overcome this. Since the operation I’m taking short walks with Bernadette to keep busy and build my strength where I can.
“At the same time, I’m keen to use this moment to find out more about my exposure to asbestos. It was a while ago now but if anyone remembers me or working at the companies themselves and have any knowledge of the working conditions, I would really welcome them getting in contact.”
Anyone with information that may assist with this case is asked to contact Nicola Handley at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 220 6233 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org