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Lawyers Secure Settlement For Family Of Leeds Man After His Asbestos-Related Death

Funds Will Ensure Leeds Hospice Continues To Provide Vital Care


The family of a Leeds man who dedicated 30 years of his life to one company have reached a settlement with the insurers of his former employers, with some of the settlement being given to a Leeds hospice that cared for him.


Patrick Gannon was diagnosed with mesothelioma in May 2014 and passed away just six months later at the age of 84 in November 2014. Before his death he instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers to investigate how and where he came into contact with the material.


He believed he was exposed to asbestos in the 30 years he spent working at George Cohen Machinery Limited. Patrick’s role included refurbishing boilers and pipework lagged with asbestos. The lagging would often be in poor condition and would then be stripped from the boilers causing dust and fibres to be released into the atmosphere.


Patrick worked in this environment until the 1980s and was never provided with protective breathing equipment meaning he inhaled the asbestos dust in the air which ultimately led to his diagnosis of mesothelioma.


Patrick’s son, Thomas, from Leeds, continued to fight for justice after his father’s death and a settlement has now been agreed with the insurers of George Cohen Machinery Limited.


It was alleged that the company did not take reasonable steps to protect Patrick from high levels of asbestos dust and fibre during his employment.


Lucy Andrews, an expert in asbestos related disease cases at Irwin Mitchell, who acted for Patrick’s family said; “Mesothelioma causes over 2,500 deaths every year in the UK and causes a great deal of pain and suffering for victims like Patrick and his family.


“On this occasion, the disease took hold of Patrick very quickly following his diagnosis and meant he was forced to give up many of the things he enjoyed. He was unable to spend time taking walks and gardening.


“Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure, despite knowing the dangers it posed to workers’ health.”


As his condition deteriorated, Patrick was cared for at Sue Ryder, Wheatfields Hospice on two occasions including for end of life care, providing invaluable support to him and his family. Solicitors acting for Patrick’s family have successfully recovered money to contribute to the cost of his care from the Defendant which will be paid to Sue Ryder, Wheatfields Hospice.


Thomas said: “Dad’s death has been difficult for us all to come to terms with and one of the primary reasons for taking legal action was to recoup the cost of care provided to dad at the Wheatfields Hospice. Thanks to Irwin Mitchell we have been able to do that.


“All of us have at some time been touched by a friend or family member who has been diagnosed with a type of cancer and we have seen the amazing job the dedicated staff at Wheatfields do to make people as comfortable as possible in their final days.”


Helen Ankrett, Hospice Director at Sue Ryder Wheatfields, said: "Our care focuses on managing distressing symptoms such as pain and providing much needed support to patients and their families.


“The care we provide is free to people who use our services but we need to raise £2.5 million to continue to provide our incredible care each year. The money paid in relation to our services will help us give more patients the care and support they need to spend the time they have left in the way they choose.”

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