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Justice For Former Labourer Diagnosed With Asbestos-Related Illness

Industrial Illness Specialists At Law Firm Irwin Mitchell Secure Six-Figure-Settlement For Asbestos Cancer Victim


A shipyard labourer diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma after being exposed to the deadly dust during his career decades ago says he feels ‘justice has been done’ after lawyers secured him a six-figure settlement from his former -employers.

John Canham, from Newcastle upon Tyne, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs, in January this year after suffering from shortness of breath and after tests at Royal Victoria Infirmary. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy for the terminal cancer.

Asbestos experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell negotiated an undisclosed six-figure settlement for John from three companies he worked for which will help cover the cost of care as his condition may deteriorate and further limit his independence. It will also provide some financial support for his family in future.

The father-of-two worked as a labourer at various shipping yards and engineering firms in the North East. He was employed at Vickers Armstrong (Engineers) Limited between 1962 and 1963 where he worked as a labourer responsible for installing boilers on the ships. John also worked at Swans Hunter Shipbuilders Limited throughout the 1960s spending his time both onboard ships and in the workshops. John also worked at Doxford & Sunderland Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Limited

John said: “I remember when I used to fit steel plates to the boilers which were already lagged with asbestos; the handsaws we used got covered in dust and as we worked in such as confined space, there was no way of avoiding the dust.

“My colleagues and I were never given any protective clothing or masks whilst we worked with asbestos and I was also never warned about the potentials dangers of inhaling the substance.

“It was devastating for my family and I to find out years later that this exposure to asbestos had made such a horrific impact on my health and the illness has completely changed my life. We are all anxious about what the future may hold but I am grateful to have the support around me from my loved ones.

“The settlement will be a big help financially when it comes to my care and will help support my family to look after me and help me to battle on against this incurable disease and it does feel like justice has been done as my former employer should have done something to protect me and my colleagues from this.”

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