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Leeds Woman Makes Plea To Former Colleagues Following Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Answers Needed To Determine Cause Of Asbestos Exposure

11.07.2019

Emma Bolton, Press Officer | +44 (0)114 294 7843

A woman from Leeds who is suffering from a terminal asbestos-related cancer is launching an appeal to her former workmates to help identify how she developed the disease.

Eileen Thompson, 85, lives in Garforth and was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the lungs which is commonly associated with being exposed to harmful asbestos fibres and dust decades ago.

She has now instructed specialist asbestos-related lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how she came into contact with the hazardous substance but sadly, Eileen has no living relatives and is now seeking the help of her ex-colleagues in providing information on her employment history.

Her only exposure to asbestos occurred while she worked for John Barran & Sons Limited in Leeds as a blouse sewing machinist between 1949 and 1957.

Expert Opinion
“This is sadly yet another case in which an individual has been affected by their exposure to asbestos decades after it initially took place.

We are urging anyone that may have worked with Eileen to come forward and let us know what the working conditions were like so we can get her the answers and justice she needs.”
Oliver Collett, Senior Associate Solicitor

There were a number of machinists that worked alongside Eileen during her employment at John Barran & Sons Limited. At that time, Hoffmann presses were used to steam dry clothing, with the steam being delivered in pipes lagged with asbestos. The presses also contained asbestos pads which deteriorated and required changing regularly.

Eileen recalled working very close to the steam presses and that maintenance and repair work was carried out on them which caused asbestos dust to be released into the air.

Eileen first began to show symptoms of illness when she developed a dry irritating cough in early 2018. When it failed to disappear, she went to see her GP, who sent her for a chest x-ray and referred her to the Respiratory Department at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds.

A CT scan showed that Eileen had fluid on her left lung which had to be drained. A permanent drain was inserted into her chest, and results of testing the fluid confirmed that she had mesothelioma.

Eileen said: “I would be very grateful if anyone who worked for John Barran & Sons at any time could offer some insight into the conditions we faced.

“I was devastated to be told that I had developed cancer especially from something that happened all those years ago, and while I cannot reverse it, I really need some answers. To find out that I have suffered such a terrible illness just from going to work every day is so difficult to understand and come to terms with.”

Anyone with any information that could assist with this case is asked to contact Oliver at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 3946784 or e-mail Oliver.Collett@IrwinMitchell.com.

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