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Family Continues Brother’s Battle For Justice After He Dies From Asbestos Illness

Family Continues Brother’s Battle For Justice After He Dies From Asbestos Illness


By Suzanne Rutter

The family of a man who died from an incurable asbestos-related cancer is appealing for his ex-colleagues to come forward with information, to help specialist lawyers piece together how he was exposed to the deadly dust and whether more could potentially have been done by his employers to protect him.

Gerald McNally’s family were devastated when he died from mesothelioma, which is caused by asbestos exposure, at home on 16 July 2012 following a seven-month battle with the illness.

Before his death aged 69, his family believed he was exposed to asbestos while working at British Steel and Marley Tiles in Consett, Country Durham, and at British Rail at Annfield Plain. He worked for these employers between leaving school in 1957 and going to college in Manchester in 1960.

Gerald’s siblings Annette Curry, Moira and John McNally are now continuing Gerald’s battle for justice and hope his ex colleagues will come forward with information to help specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell investigate the working conditions he endured.

At British Steel, Gerald worked as an administrator and the plant’s support staff regularly used the power station buildings as a short cut to the central offices and his family believed he was exposed to the deadly dust while walking past the turbines and boilers in the power station, which were well known to be heavily lagged with asbestos.

At Marley Tiles where he was also an administrator, they believed he may have been exposed to asbestos while walking through the firm’s workshops, which manufactured roof tiles thought to have contained asbestos.

He also went to work as an administrator for British Rail at Annfield Works, based in Annfield Plain.
Roger Maddocks, a specialist industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office representing Annette, Moira and John McNally, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress for victims like Gerald and their families. Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure, despite knowing how dangerous it is.

“We hope that Gerald’s former co-workers will come forward to help answer the many questions Annette and her brother and sister have about his asbestos exposure as well as what measures, if any, were in place to protect employees like him. It’s important that we now help Gerald’s family honour his memory and get him the justice he deserves.”

Gerald’s brother John McNally, of Delves Lane in Consett, was also employed at British Steel and Annette also worked at British Steel and Marley Tiles.

Annette Curry, of Falcon way, Cleveland, said: “The whole family is absolutely devastated about losing Gerald to such a debilitating illness and we want to do all we can to honour his memory and to find out where he was exposed to asbestos.

“Gerald worked at British Steel, Marley Tiles and the British Rail while studying part time in the evenings at Derwent Side College. I also worked for British Steel when I was about 23-years-old in 1969. I was initially employed as a lab technician and was then moved to the accounts department.

“I remember the power station’s pipe work, turbines and boilers were lagged with asbestos and Gerald would probably have come into contact with it as he walked through the area to get to the offices.

“I also worked at Marley Tiles for a couple of years when I was 17 or 18 in the offices and remember the roof tiles the company made containing asbestos.

“We know very little about his role at the railway station at Annfield Plain but we hope his ex-work mates can help the team at Irwin Mitchell piece together information about the working conditions he endured there.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at British Steel, Marley Tiles and the British Rail should contact Roger Maddocks or Kirstie Wilson at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office on 0191 279 0136 or email roger.maddocks@irwinmitchell.com or kirstie.wilson@irwinmitchell.com

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.