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I joined Irwin Mitchell in January 2006 and was one of the first members of staff in our Manchester office, joining the firm to set up our Asbestos Litigation department in the North West. I trained as a barrister and was called to the bar in 1995, later qualifying as a solicitor in 1998 with a niche practice. I have 10 years of specialist experience of representing victims of asbestos disease, and acted for a lead claimant in the important mesothelioma test case, Fairchild & others, successful at appeal in the House of Lords.
"Works hard to get the best results for her clients in a firm and conciliatory way" - Legal 500, 2018/19
"Geraldine Coombs has a long-standing reputation as an expert in asbestos-related industrial disease matters" - Chambers & Partners, 2015
Noted for her handling of complex cases - Chambers & Partners, 2014
"Personable and dedicated." - Chambers & Partners, 2012
“Asbestos was used widely in industry and the building trade for many years. Tragically, although employers ought to have known of the dangers it posed to their staff, too often they failed to implement safety measures and warnings to protect workers from inhaling the toxic substance.
“It is not just people who worked directly with asbestos insulation or asbestos materials who are affected. People who had indirect exposure to asbestos dust through breathing in dust created by others working alongside them are also affected. There has also been a rise in the number of people affected by the presence of asbestos in public buildings, such as schools, local government offices, hospitals and universities.”
“Employers are still taking chances with safety in the workplace and people are still dying because of it. The legacy of employers who failed to protect employees from asbestos dust is devastating. It is the families who have lost loved ones from mesothelioma who are paying the price now for the shortcuts with safety that were taken.”
“Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer which is always caused by asbestos exposure. The dangers of asbestos have been known for decades and warnings as well as adequate protection should have been offered to those in contact with asbestos.
“The sad fact is that employers took short cuts with safety measures and did not protect their employees from breathing in asbestos dust. Joan is a very much loved mother and grandmother. Her whole family is devastated by her diagnosis and illness.”
“Balliol House where Joan worked has been demolished. We would like to speak to anyone who worked at Balliol House during 1975 and 1991, who could give information about asbestos exposure there.”
“Brian’s family was devastated by his death. Beryl and Brian married in 1958 and Brian was a much loved husband, father and grandfather.
“He told his family he was exposed to asbestos whilst working on the construction of the Royal Infirmary in Huddersfield and we hope anyone who remembers working with him at the site or anyone with information about who the main contractors were at the site or the use of asbestos materials there will come forward to help the family.”
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