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Relief For Devastated Asbestos Victim

Bishop Auckland Man Wins Battle For Justice


A County Durham man, who has been left devastated after developing a deadly respiratory condition after years of working alongside asbestos, has won his battle for justice.

Cyril James Faulkner, 86, of Woodland, Bishop Auckland, was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in October 2008 as a result of over 10 years of asbestos exposure.

Following his diagnosis Mr Faulkner, who was regularly exposed to asbestos as he worked as a plumber for Hawkins and Holmes Limited, turned to Irwin Mitchell for help in his bid for justice.

In order to complete his duties at Hawkins and Holmes, Mr Faulkner would come into close contact with asbestos lagging on a daily basis as he maintained and repaired boilers and flue pipes. He was never issued with safety equipment which would have protected him from inhaling the lethal asbestos dust.

Isobel Lovett, associate solicitor and industrial disease specialist at Irwin Mitchell, worked with Mr Faulkner to help secure his settlement.

Isobel said: “For over 10 years Mr Faulkner was exposed to this potentially lethal substance and was never issued the protective equipment which would have prevented his development of such a painful and aggressive disease.

“During the time that he worked at Hawkins and Holmes his employers would have been aware of the dangers that asbestos posed but yet the company still did nothing to help him. Although nothing can change what has happened to Mr Faulkner this legal victory will now allow him to live in as much comfort as possible, considering his painful condition.”

Mr Faulkner added: “I was devastated when I found out that I had developed Mesothelioma. For years I loyally worked for this company and all along they would have known and understood that I was working with such a dangerous material but yet did nothing to stop me from inhaling the asbestos dust.

“I’m relieved that Hawkins and Holmes have now been brought to justice for the blatant disregard which they have shown to me, and my colleagues who also would have been exposed to asbestos.”

Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer of the lung lining (the pleura) which develops as a result of inhaling asbestos dust. It can take between 10 and 60 years to develop after exposure to asbestos. Victims suffer a painful death, on average, within a year or so of diagnosis. 

Unlike other asbestos related conditions it can occur after exposure to minimal levels of dust.

Currently almost 2,000 people die of Mesothelioma every year in the UK. The number of people suffering from Mesothelioma is expected to increase significantly over the next 10-15 years.

65,000 people are expected to die of Mesothelioma in the UK between 2002 and 2050, and 250,000 in Western Europe by 2035.