Dad’s Quest To Find Out How He Was Exposed To Asbestos ‘Before It’s Too Late’
A former Bristol labourer who helped fit out landing craft for the US Navy, has spoken of his race against time to find out how he contracted the asbestos-related cancer which is set to claim his life.
Nicholas MacPherson wants his family to know how he came into contact with hazardous asbestos believed to be responsible for his mesothelioma.
The 57-year-old, who joined Longwell Green Coachworks in Bristol as a 16-year-old school leaver, has instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate.
Nicholas has now joined his legal team at Irwin Mitchell in appealing for former coachwork colleagues for information to help provide his family with the answers they deserve ‘before it is too late.’
Expert OpinionMesothelioma is an extremely aggressive, and sadly, incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust fibres, with sufferers often only developing symptoms decades after their exposure.
“During Nicholas’ time with Longwell Green Coachworks it was a major company in Bristol, employing hundreds of workers.
“We are appealing for anyone who worked at Longwell Green Coachworks in the late 1970s, and especially on US landing craft like Nicholas, to come forward with any information they have about the presence of asbestos and what measures were in place to protect workers from exposure to the harmful dust and fibres.
“While medical staff cannot do anything for Nicholas with regards to curing his cancer, we at last hope we can provide Nicholas and his family with the vital answers they deserve regarding his diagnosis before it is too late.” Virginia Chalmers - Partner
Nicholas left school in 1977 to start work at the company which was based in Aldermore Way, Longwell Green. He was employed on the US Navy contract, fitting out landing craft. He left the company in 1978, going on to have a number of driving jobs for several companies.
The insurers of Longwell Green Coachworks deny that the company undertook any work on navy vessels. Can you help to confirm that it did?
Nicholas is married to Linda, 57, and the couple have three children. He sought medical advice in December 2016 after complaining of kidney pain. Nicholas was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2017 following a number of hospital tests.
Nicholas has told his legal team at Irwin Mitchell that he remembers the factory was constructed of large asbestos sheets with pipes lagged in the material. He also recalled having to cut board, believed to be asbestos, to help fit out the boats as well having to mix and apply asbestos insulation for pipes on the vessels.
He said: “I remember it being hard work fitting the boats out. The vessels were massive and grey, but with no identifying features, so I never actually knew what they were going to be called.
“Longwell Green was a major employer at the time and the factory was always busy and noisy. I regularly used to end up with dust on my clothes, hands, skin and hair.”
Nicholas, who now lives in Dawlish in Devon, added: “Prior to my diagnosis I always enjoyed good health so for me and my family to be told I had terminal cancer came as a real shock.
“I’ve tried to come to terms the best I can with my diagnosis and what that means for me and my family
“I have so many questions about how I could have been exposed to asbestos and I think I deserve answers, not just for me but for my family.
“It can’t change what has happened to me, but hopefully by having my old colleagues come forward, it will enable my family to understand why this happened and how.”
Longwell Green Coachworks closed in 1983.
Anyone with information regarding the working conditions at the factory during the late 1970s should contact Virginia Chalmers at Irwin Mitchell 0117 926 1514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos related disease cases.