Asbestos expert visits Leeds office
Lawyers from Irwin Mitchell have welcomed Dr Gregory Deleuil – a world-renowned expert in asbestos related issues – to their Wellington Place offices in Leeds.
Dr Deleuil, the medical advisor to the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia, Perth spent the day with the law firm’s industrial diseases team, who regularly deal with victims of mesothelioma, an asbestos-related terminal cancer.
As part of his visit he was shown around the derelict factory site of former Leeds asbestos manufacturer JW Roberts, where for many years the company polluted the neighbourhood with the deadly dust until the factory closed in the mid 1950s. Since then, many former workers at the factory have developed asbestos related diseases and many former residents of the area, also affected by the dust in the school playgrounds and in the surrounding streets have fallen victim to mesothelioma.
The day culminated with a presentation by Dr Deleuil, who for over 25 years has been at the centre of asbestos issues in Perth, Australia, a city which has one of the worst incidences of asbestos diseases in the world due to its proximity to the Wittenoom blue asbestos mine.
His talk to an audience of health professionals, trades' unionists and families of asbestos victims focussed on the history of asbestos, its uses worldwide and on the shattering impact he has witnessed the industrial material to have on thousands of families and entire communities in Western Australia.
Ian Bailey, partner and industrial diseases expert said: "We are delighted that Dr Deleuil was able to spend time in Leeds and are very privileged that he agreed to share his unique experiences and expertise with us.
"He has without doubt strengthened our understanding of the impact that asbestos related illness is having across the world and not just in Britain. Irwin Mitchell fought the claim against J.W. Roberts on behalf of June Hancock more than a decade ago. At the time of her exposure, Mrs Hancock was just a child playing in the streets of Armley. It was equally heartbreaking to hear about the devastation that asbestos has caused to generations of families in Western Australia."
Dr Deleuil said: "I am very pleased to be able to come over to the UK to share my knowledge. I thank Irwin Mitchell for providing such a positive platform for asbestos education. From speaking to people here it's clear that mesothelioma is an issue that has and still is greatly affecting those who live in the region.
"However on a positive note, by forging strong links with professional organisations such as Irwin Mitchell we are able to continue to raise awareness of the hazards of asbestos, educate people about its deadly effects, offer support for those currently affected by it and ultimately protect future generations from it."