Brave OAP Brenda’s battle for justice

Former cotton mill worker Brenda Smith, who has been diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer
Former cotton mill worker Brenda Smith, who has been diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer

A WIGAN woman diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer nearly 50 years after she worked at a cotton mill has instructed specialist lawyers in her battle for justice.

Brenda Smith worked at Brook Mill, on Chapel Street in Leigh between 1956 and 1957 winding asbestos fibres onto bobbins which were later woven into cloth.

While at work, she and her colleagues would be working from a mass of asbestos fibres (known as a copse) which would often flake off and create a lot of dust over them.

The 76-year-old, of Langdale Road, Kitt Green, started to suffer from breathlessness in March 2013 and tests at the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Wigan Infirmary confirmed she had lung cancer.

Brenda, who now struggles with chronic breathlessness, has instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office to help investigate the working conditions at Brook Mill. She is hoping to seek justice from her former employers for failing to prevent her exposure to the hazardous substance decades ago.

Dominic Hemsi, a Pprtner and specialist industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing her, said: “Lung cancer is an disease which can have a significant impact on patient’s lifestyles.

“Brenda and her family have understandably been left angry and upset by her diagnosis and have concerns about what the future will hold. The family want answers as to why more wasn’t done by her employers to protect her from the harmful dust of asbestos.”

Brenda said: “I was given no warnings, training or information about the risks and dangers of asbestos exposure and had I known I would have taken the necessary precautions.

“Often whilst I was at work my colleagues and I would be completely covered in dust and fibres after filling the bobbins. We would have to use a hoover pipe to suck up all the fibres, but it wouldn’t take long until everything was covered again. We were never given any safety equipment to cover our noses and mouth to prevent us from breathing in the dust.

“I hope my former colleagues will come forward with the crucial information my legal team requires to bring my former employers to justice.”

Anyone with any information about the working conditions at any of the above sites where Brenda worked is asked to contact Dominic Hemsi at MPH Solicitors (part of Irwin Mitchell) on or call 0161 259 1517.