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Son Continues Father's Fight For Justice In Asbestos Investigation

Industrial Disease Experts Appeal To Former Pipe Fitter’s Colleagues


The distraught son of a man who died from an asbestos-related cancer is appealing for his father’s former colleagues to help provide vital information about how and why he came into contact with the hazardous dust.

Leonard Stark, from Cochrane Park in Newcastle, sadly died aged 77 on 17 December 2013 after suffering from mesothelioma, a terminal cancer in the lining of the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos dust decades ago.

Just before Leonard passed away, he instructed industrial disease experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where he was exposed to asbestos and to seek justice following his diagnosis of the incurable cancer. 

Now Leonard’s devoted son, Brian Stark, is carrying on with his father’s investigation and is appealing for help from his father’s former colleagues from several firms who worked with Leonard during the following periods:

• R Blackett Charlton & Co which later became Charlton Leslie Construction Ltd (1953 - 1958 & 1970 – 1990) White Street, Newcastle
• Hawthorne Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd (1962 -1964) Tyneside
• Vickers Armstrong Ltd (1962 - 1963) Walker, Newcastle
• Newcastle City Council (1963 – 1977)

Leonard worked as a pipefitter, mainly onboard ships, during his time with all of the job roles apart from the Newcastle City Council, where he installed plumbing and heating systems. However, when he was alive, Leonard believed that he was exposed to asbestos in all four jobs and at no time was he provided with adequate protection from the deadly dust, nor was he informed of the potential dangers. 

Leonard recalled that whilst he was working on-board ships at various locations including Swan Hunter’s Wallsend Shipyard and the Walker Naval Yard, he would fit the pipes and then afterwards, they were lagged with asbestos to which he was exposed.

Isobel Lovett is an industrial disease expert at Irwin Mitchell Newcastle’s office. 

Brian, who lives with his wife and daughter in Wallsend, said: “My dad was extremely unwell towards the end of his life and he suffered very badly with the cancer. He was only diagnosed not long before he died. 

“It is devastating to find out that the incurable disease stemmed from being exposed to asbestos during his working life. 

“My brother and I just want answers now and hopefully someone will come forward who worked with our dad and can shed light about how he was exposed to asbestos.”

Anyone who thinks they can help is asked to contact Emma Tordoff at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office on 0191 279 0122 or email Emma.Tordoff@irwinmitchell.com.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to mesothelioma claims

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