Fam­ily in bat­tle to get jus­tice for fa­ther

WORK­ERS ASKED TO COME FOR­WARD

Sunday Sun - - News - By Lisa Hutchin­son Reporter lisa.hutchin­son@ncj­me­dia.co.uk

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. mc­gowan@ir­win­mitchell.com 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

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