Wigan great-grandad's call for ex-workmates in asbestos legal battle

A retired great-grandfather from Wigan struck down by asbestos-related illness has joined legal experts to call on his former workmates to come forward and help him gain justice regarding how he developed the condition.

Friday, 9th November 2018, 2:48 pm
Updated Monday, 12th November 2018, 1:45 pm
Jeffrey Griffiths

Jeffrey Griffiths, 78, struggled with symptoms including shortness of breath in late 2017 and following tests it was confirmed that he was suffering from asbestos-related pleural thickening – a condition in which scarring causes thickening to the lungs.

After receiving the diagnosis, he instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to examine how he came to develop the illness and whether his exposure to asbestos could have been avoided.

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As part of their investigations, the legal experts are now keen to speak to anyone who worked alongside Jeffrey during his time as an electrician for the Merseyside and North Wales Electricity Board (MANWEB) between 1955 and 1969.

They are specifically keen for details on the likelihood that he came into contact with asbestos during his employment with the organisation.

Armon Momenabadi, the legal expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office who is acting for Jeffrey, said: “Our client’s story is sadly similar to a great number we hear every day, with individuals developing asbestos illnesses many years after exposure is believed to have occurred.

“We are keen to get more information on whether our client’s exposure to asbestos took place during his time with this employer and would be very grateful to anyone who can provide relevant detail.

“Such contributions may make a huge difference to our efforts to help him gain justice regarding his illness.”

Jeffrey joined MANWEB straight out of school as an apprentice, before then becoming a fully qualified electrician.

Looking back on his time there, he said: “My work for the company took me to many locations including the Lister Drive Power Station in Liverpool and a number of hospitals and warehouses across the area.

“On many occasions my work involved going into boiler houses where asbestos-lagged pipework was often present. In addition, on some jobs I would also need to make spacers for copper piping out of asbestos sheets.

“I was devastated to receive the news that I had an asbestos-related disease and am now just keen to get answers regarding how it could have happened.

“It is hard to think that it may have been caused by my work and I would be grateful to anyone who is able to help me.”

There have been many cases of Wigan people who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.

One of the most common and deadliest is mesothelioma. An asbestos fibre can be inhaled into the lungs and lie dormant for up to several decades before suddenly triggering a form of cancer from which sufferers rarely survive.

Many borough victims worked at the Turner Brothers asbestos plant in Hindley Green. The most dangerous forms of the once popular fire-retardant are white, blue and brown asbestos.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Armon Momenabadi at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office on 0161 838 3099 or email [email protected]