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Appeal For Witnesses As Former Oil Refinery Worker Diagnosed With Deadly Disease

Mesothelioma Diagnosis for Former Oil Worker


A former site planner who worked at a Shetland-based oil refinery in the 1970s is calling for help from colleagues after being diagnosed with a fatal asbestos related cancer of the lung lining, mesothelioma.

It is thought that 66-year-old Clive Leaney, now living in Cambridgeshire, was exposed to asbestos while working on the construction of an oil terminal and power station at Sullum Voe, Shetland Islands. Whilst in the employment of energy company Foster Wheeler Ltd, Mr Leaney suffered prolonged exposure to asbestos on the terminal.

Helen Ashton, Partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell is representing Mr Leaney. She said: "In June 2009 Mr Leaney started to struggle with his breathing and, tragically, was diagnosed with Mesothelioma at Papworth Hospital in August the same year.

"It is believed he contracted the fatal illness following exposure to substantial amounts of the deadly dust and fibres during his time working on Sullum Voe oil terminal."

Mr Leaney said: "This diagnosis has come as a massive shock to me and my wife because the symptoms were so fast-acting. In just a matter of weeks I was struggling to walk any distance at all – we went on a cruise shortly after the symptoms began and I was virtually confined to my cabin.

"I couldn't wait to get home and visit my GP, who referred me to the hospital. It wasn't long before I was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

"I can remember the asbestos exposure very clearly – I came across it regularly while I carried out bi-weekly inspections of the progress being made in the power station construction. Insulation laggers were onsite all the time covering boilers and pipe work with the material. We were never offered protection or educated about the dangers of working with asbestos."

Miss Ashton said: "Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive cancer which is fatal in the majority of cases. It causes great suffering to the victim and their families.

"We are trying to trace former site colleagues of Clive Leaney who have information concerning the working practices undertaken by Foster Wheeler Ltd, Foster Wheeler Power Products Ltd and Foster Wheeler sub contactors such as Holiday Hall etc, at the Sullum Voe oil terminal and power station between 1978 and 1979, to come forward and help us with our enquiries."

Anybody with any relevant information about any of these companies should contact Helen Ashton on 01142 744545 or email helen.ashton@irwinmitchell.com.