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Former Shipbuilder Forced Into Legal Action Against Former Employers Over Exposure To Asbestos

Expert Asbestos-Related Disease Lawyers Issue Court Proceedings To Get Answers For Washington Man


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A former shipbuilder and insulation manufacturer who worked for numerous firms in Tyne and Wear has been forced to take legal action as he seeks answers from one of his previous employers following him being diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer.

Dominic Valente, 74, who is now retired and lives in Washington, was diagnosed with mesothelioma earlier this year in September. Mesothelioma is a terminal cancer caused by exposure to harmful asbestos dust decades before the diagnosis is made.

Dominic instructed a team of expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where he was exposed to the deadly asbestos dust and fibres which caused his mesothelioma. 

His legal team believe that Dominic was exposed to injurious quantities of asbestos dust and fibres while employed at Bartram and Sons. They have now issued formal court proceedings against the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the holders of liability for Bartram & Sons, after they refused liability for his illness. The firm was nationalised in 1977 following the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act. 

With the backing of Irwin Mitchell, Dominic is appealing for former colleagues who worked with him at Bartram Shipyard, Sunderland, during 1958 to 1960 to come forward with any information of the working conditions at the Shipyard.

Roger Maddocks, a Partner and expert industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: 

Expert Opinion
“We believe that Dominic was substantially exposed to asbestos while working for Bartram & Sons due to the general work done at the site, the duties that Dominic carried out and the lack of protective equipment provided.

“We are working with Dominic in his fight for justice to confirm where he was exposed to the asbestos. We urge any of Dominic’s former colleagues to come forward with any information about the working conditions at the Shipyard as this will help our investigation.

“Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive form of cancer that can only be treated temporarily. The effects of working with asbestos don’t often occur until decades later, and, sadly, Dominic is now suffering terribly due to the fact he was not adequately protected at work by his employers.”
Roger Maddocks, Partner

Dominic, father of four grown up sons, said: “When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was in shock, however when I found out that it was likely caused by exposure to asbestos during my working life I became extremely frustrated and angry.

“The disease has already had a significant impact on my day-to-day life, as I suffer from serious discomfort in my chest and I become breathless a lot more frequently than before my diagnosis.

“I only hope that some of my former colleagues will come forward and contact my legal team at Irwin Mitchell with the requested details about the working conditions at Bartram & Sons to help get justice for me and ensure those responsible for my exposure to asbestos are held to account.”

Anyone who worked with Dominic and can provide any information is asked to contact Sonia Akram on 0191 434 0719 or email Sonia.Akram@IrwinMitchell.com 

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

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