Family in battle to get justice for father
WORKERS ASKED TO COME FORWARD
DETERMINED factory worker Fred Bain is fighting justice from the grave after dying from an asbestos-related cancer.
The 74-year-old died in May, around seven months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung commonly associated with exposure to asbestos.
An inquest held on August 8 ruled he died from an industrial disease and now his family has taken on a battle for the truth in his memory.
Prior to his death, dad-of-three Fred instructed specialist asbestosrelated disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and help him gain answers regarding how he came to develop mesothelioma.
The grandad also outlined how he Fred Bain with his wife Ann believed he was exposed to the deadly material during his time working at tile manufacturer Armstrong Cork Co Ltd between 1973 and 1997.
But just days before Fred died the company told him they denied any liability.
Now, with his family proceeding with the legal claim, the lawyers are calling on anyone who worked at the company during that time to come forward and provide information on the possible presence of asbestos at the site.
Fred’s widow Ann, 72, of Leam Lane, Gateshead, said: “Fred talked about how workers would open the bales and dust would fly into the air while he was often just yards away.
“He also worked a lot in the warehouse and would often sweep up dust and debris close to the bales. He was only given a mask with a filter towards the end of his time at the company, so was understandably devastated when he got his diagnosis.
“While nothing can change what has happened, we are determined to honour his memory by ensuring that we gain justice regarding his death.
“If anyone who worked with him could come forward it would be hugely appreciated.”
During his time working for Armstrong Cork Co Ltd – later known as Armstrong World Industries Ltd – at the company’s Team Valley Trading Estate factory, Fred was employed as a general worker, cleaner and a chargehand.
Before he passed away, he told Irwin Mitchell of how he remembered asbestos being used in the manufacturing process for tiles, with huge bales of the material being delivered to the factory twice a week.
Emma Tordoff, the specialist asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office who is representing Fred’s family, said: “This is another truly devastating case in which a worker has developed a very serious illness as a result of asbestos exposure that most likely occurred many decades ago.
“We issued proceedings in this case earlier this year, but just days before Fred’s death we were informed that Armstrong Cork Co Ltd deny liability in the case.
“As a result, we are hoping to secure more evidence to support the case and would be keen to hear from anyone who worked alongside Fred during his many years at the company, or who worked at the company during that time, even if they didn’t know Fred.
“Any detail regarding the presence of asbestos could ultimately prove vital.”
Armstrong World Industries Ltd plant manager Matt Ryan said in a statement: “We are very sorry to hear about Mr Bain’s death this May.
“The case in question refers to alleged asbestos exposure between 1973 to 1997.
“Whilst the presence of asbestos is not accepted in the part of the factory in which Mr Bain worked, asbestos levels were continuously monitored at the site and were recorded as substantially lower that the relevant occupational hygiene standards. It is for this reason that Mr Bain’s claim was denied.
“This case is subject to ongoing litigation and as such it would not be prudent for us to comment on an ongoing legal issue.”
Anyone with information regarding the working conditions at Armstrong Cork Co Ltd between 1973 and 1997 should contact Michael McGowan at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0104 or email michael. firstname.lastname@example.org Fred Bain died aged 74 after a battle with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining
The relatives of former factory worker Fred Bain are looking to take legal action against Armstrong World Industries Ltd, formerly known as Armstrong Cork Co Ltd