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Father Diagnosed With Terminal Asbestos Related Cancer Turns To Former Colleagues For Justice

Legal Experts Seek Winlaton Man’s Former Workmates


A father of three, who was recently given the devastating news that he suffers from a terminal asbestos-related cancer, has appealed for his former colleagues to help with an investigation into how he was exposed to the deadly dust. 

Trevor Short, 66, who lives with wife Marian and son in Winlaton, Tyne & Wear, was diagnosed in September with mesothelioma. Trevor, formerly from North Kenton, Newcastle, first felt symptoms just two months before his diagnosis when he suffered from a bad cough and shortness of breath.

During the next two months, Trevor had over seven litres of fluid drained off his lungs and was subsequently told by a doctor he had the terminal cancer, caused by exposure to harmful asbestos dust.

Trevor has since instructed industrial disease specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate his exposure to asbestos and seek justice so he can concentrate on enjoying time with his family.

Trevor worked as an electrician from the 1960s to the 1990s and lawyers from Irwin Mitchell are seeking information from colleagues who can shed light on working conditions while he worked at three firms:

• Watson Norie (Electrical Contractors) Limited in Jesmond, Newcastle – 1962 to 1973
• Haig and Ringrose (Electrical Contractors) Limited, Consett, County Durham – 1973
• Huwoods Limited, Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead  – 1973 to 1988

It is believed Trevor was exposed to asbestos several times during his employment. He remembers working at an old chemical plant called Lenning Chemicals during the mid 60’s and was required to fit wiring across pipe work which he believed was lagged with asbestos.  Trevor also recalls an incident at Huwoods where lots of pipework which ran around employees work benches was stripped out, leaving dust covering wires, benches and floors.

 Roger Maddocks, a specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Trevor, said: “It’s a shock to anyone to discover they have a terminal condition and mesothelioma is a terrible type of cancer which affects the lining of the lungs.  Trevor and his family want answers to where and why he was exposed to asbestos as well as the security of knowing that they will be provided for in future.

“Employers knew the dangers of asbestos exposure well before the 1970s so there is no excuse for so many companies not providing their workers with the appropriate protection. Unfortunately many are only now suffering the effects of the negligence as the illnesses associated with the deadly dust can take decades to develop.

“We urge anyone who worked with Trevor at the companies mentioned to provide any information they can into working conditions and possible exposure to asbestos.”

Trevor said: “It was terrifying for both myself and my family when we got the news. I believe I came into contact with asbestos on quite a few occasions during my working life, mostly due to the piping being lagged with asbestos in the locations I was based.

“Between 1967 and 1968 I worked on a contract at the Napth Gas Plant in Bicester. The plant was covered in pipe work lagged with asbestos.

“At Huwoods we were surrounded by pipework around our work benches and one day we came in and it had all been ripped out leaving the whole place covered in dust. We had to continue to work inside these conditions for quite a few hours breathing in that dust until we were sent home after complaints from the union.

“Now because of my condition I am not very active at all. I used to be able to do much more than I am able to now. I get breathless and now my family do most of the running around for me.”

“Hopefully my former colleagues are out there and can shed some light on the conditions. I just want justice for my family so we can make the most of our lives together and be safe in the knowledge that their future will be provided for.”

Anybody with relevant information should contact Roger Maddocks or Kirstie Wilson at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0136 or email Kirstie.Wilson@IrwinMitchell.com or Roger.Maddocks@irwinMitchell.com.