Ex-carpenter appeals for information about asbestos exposure

An ex-joiner and carpenter from Northumberland is appealing for information about his exposure to asbestos in the 1940s and 1950s.

Andrew Scott was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2013.

Tests carried out at North Tyneside General Hospital revealed he was suffering from the asbestos-related illness after being left constantly breathless.

The 85-year-old says he regularly came into contact with asbestos during his career as a carpenter and joiner in the 1940s and 1950s when he worked for carpenter and joinery firm J & A Gray in Coldstream on the Scottish Border and then at building companies Jeffcock and Harvey, which were based in the Newcastle area.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are now appealing for his ex-work colleagues to come forward to give details of their working conditions.

Andrew said he remembers working on a dairy in Coldstream where he had to cut asbestos sheets to size.

Between 1947 and 1949 he worked as a carpenter during a major local authority housing scheme to build homes in Stobhill, Morpeth.

He was responsible for fixing asbestos ‘soffits’ to roofs and would have to saw through large asbestos sheets covered in deadly dust.

Isobel Lovett, an expert industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress in victims like Andrew who work in building trades where we believe asbestos is used.

“We hope that Andrew’s former colleges will come forward to help us prove that more could have been done to protect employees like him from the deadly effect of asbestos so we can get him the justice he deserves.”

Andrew first started showing symptoms of the disease in 2011 when he began to feel breathless and had fluid drained from the lungs in September of that year.

He said: “I was shocked when I got the mesothelioma diagnosis because I had never realised that the asbestos I was working with was so dangerous.

“It’s devastating to thinnk I’m suffering from this terrible illness simply because I’ve worked hard all my life.”

Anyone with information should contact Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office on (0191) 279 0104 or email isobel.lovett@irwinmitchell.com