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Widow Of Former Laundry Delivery Man Seeks Help From Factory Workers After Asbestos Death

Appeal Launched In Battle For Justice Over Industrial Illness


The devastated widow of a former Black Country laundry delivery man, who died of an asbestos-related disease, has launched an emotional appeal to win justice for her husband by asking people who worked at the factories he visited, to come forward with vital information.

Barry Hulme, 69 at the date of his death, is believed to have been exposed to deadly asbestos dust during the 23 years he spent delivering linen to a number of factories, foundries and steel works throughout the Black Country area.

Mr Hulme, who lived in Wychbold near Droitwich, was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, in September 2010 and sadly died just seven months later on the 7 April 2011.
An inquest held by HM Coroner for Worcestershire, Geraint Williams, in May this year confirmed that Mr Hulme had died from an industrial disease.

With the help of specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, Barry’s widow, Doreen, is now seeking factory and foundry workers who may be able to provide additional information as to how he came into contact with the lethal fibres.

She believes his health problems were caused during the 23 years he worked for Kingswinford based at Advance Linen Services Limited. His job involved collecting and delivering laundry to customers’ premises, including factories, foundries and steel works in the Black Country area. It is believed that the laundry he collected contained dirty overalls of workers from these factories which are likely to have been contaminated with asbestos dust.

Mr Hulme worked for the company from 1961 until 1984 and collected and delivered linen to well known local companies including Stewarts and Lloyds in Bilston, Patent Shaft in Wednesbury, Round Oak Steel Works in Brierley Hill, Henley Foundries in Cradley Heath and Hingleys Iron and Steel in Old Hill. He also made regular visits to BRD, a casting factory based in Aldridge, Albright and Wilsons and also to Lucas at their Farm Street and Great Hampton Street factories.

Commenting on her husband’s death, Doreen Hulme said: “Barry and I had been married for 36 years. When we were told about his diagnosis we were both completely devastated. This terrible illness took him so very quickly and he suffered a great deal in the last months of his life.

“My husband worked hard all his life and to know that his work was ultimately responsible for his death is hard to bear. Our family have also been devastated by his death and we are all desperate to see justice is done.”

Hayley Hill, a workplace illness expert with Irwin Mitchell solicitor’s Birmingham office, is representing the family. She said: “Barry knew that asbestos exposure was responsible for his aggressive cancer and the last few months of his life battling this terrible illness were particularly difficult.

“Many of the premises he delivered to were factories and foundries which routinely used asbestos.

“In order to help his widow conclude her fight for justice, I am particularly keen to hear from workers at any of the factories Barry visited between 1961 and 1984 as they may have key information about the presence of asbestos and working practices at these premises.”

Anyone who can help with any information is asked to contact Hayley Hill at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or email hayley.hill@irwinmitchell.com