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Former Train Maintenance Worker Seeks Answers After Asbestos Disease Diagnosis

Bolton Man Appeals For Help In Battle For Justice


James Clarke, Press Officer | +44 (0)161 838 3169

A former train maintenance worker who was diagnosed with asbestos-related disease last year has joined with specialist lawyers to call on his old workmates to come forward and help him gain justice regarding his illness.

Jeffrey James Smith, 71, from Horwich in Bolton, was informed by medical experts that he had developed asbestosis in December 2016.

Following the diagnosis, he and his wife Janice instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he came to develop the illness and whether more could have been done to prevent his exposure to the material.

Now, as part of their work, the legal experts are appealing for anyone who worked with Jeffrey during his time as an apprentice fitter and turner for British Rail at its Carriage and Wagon Works in Horwich between 1962 and 1972 to come forward and shed light on the presence of asbestos at the site.

Dominic Hemsi, the lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester who is representing Jeffrey, said:

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“The terrible legacy of asbestos had had a huge impact on so many lives and this is yet another case in which the consequences of exposure to the material have become apparent many years after the contact is believed to have happened.

“Our client is understandably keen for answers regarding how his illness has emerged and we are determined to do everything we can to help him gain justice.

“Any information regarding the working conditions at the Horwich Carriage and Wagon Works across the period outlined could prove absolutely vital in our efforts, so we would be hugely grateful to anyone who is able to come forward and help.”
Dominic Hemsi, Partner

Jeffrey’s job as an apprentice fitter and turner saw him undertake maintenance and repair work on wagons and carriages at the site. Jobs included working on heating systems which were cladded in asbestos, as well as carrying out repairs on pipework which also had asbestos insulation.

He said: “Any work related to heating systems and pipework often meant having to remove cladding and insulation, which of course meant that dust and fibres were released into the air.

“Throughout this time I was never warned of any potential risks to my health created by my work, so I am now understandably devastated that I have been diagnosed with this condition.

“All I want is answers regarding how this could have happened, so any help from old colleagues or anyone who worked for British Rail across this time period would be massively appreciated.”p

Anyone with information regarding the projects in question is asked to contact Dominic Hemsi at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office on 0161 259 1516 or Dominic.Hemsi2@IrwinMitchell.com

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in asbestosis claims.