Molesworths Solicitors win Mesothelioma case for local man

Date online: 05/03/2012

Molesworths Solicitors of Rochdale have recently negotiated a substantial settlement for a former Rochdale Council employee who was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of terminal cancer that develops in the protective lining of the body’s internal organs, usually affecting the lungs or abdomen. Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, however, the signs and symptoms may not appear for many years after initial exposure.

The gentleman, along with many others, had previously worked for the Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, at the Ellenroad site, an old cotton spinning mill near Junction 21 of the M62, on a community programme to restore the mill, engine house, steam engine and chimney as part of a Manpower Services Commission Scheme in 1986.

Although earlier clearance of asbestos had been carried out at the site prior to the commencement of these works, in October 1986 asbestos was once again found on site, in particular around the areas where the gentleman and other MSC workers had been working.

However, it was not until July 2010, when the client consulted his doctor after he noticed abnormal abdominal swelling, that he was referred to hospital and diagnosed with Mesothelioma of the peritoneum, which is the protective lining of the abdomen. At the time of his diagnosis he was 76 years old, his exposure having occurred some 24 years earlier when he would have been 52.
He immediately contacted local Rochdale solicitors Molesworths and was dealt with by industrial disease specialist Sue Leeming.

Sue commented:

"The symptoms of Mesothelioma can take many years to materialise and unfortunately the survival rate is extremely poor, with around 75 per cent of sufferers dying within one year of diagnosis. It was therefore vital that this gentleman's claim was dealt with as quickly as possible and our dedicated and experienced team of solicitors were able to successfully settle the claim for a substantial settlement within just ten months of the client first contacting us, without an admission of liability, prior to the issuing of Court proceedings. We are extremely pleased that we were able to settle this claim for him during what must be a very difficult time for him and his family”

Sue continued:

"Fortunately, our client, had retained lots of documentation concerning the finding of asbestos at his place of employment in 1986 including letters from the Council confirming that asbestos had been found on site, minutes of meetings he'd attended, documentation of its subsequent clearance and documents highlighting where the various types of asbestos had been found around the site.
This documentation was clearly helpful in negotiating a settlement of our client’s claim against his former employers and we have retained copies for future reference should it ever transpire that any other employees who worked at Ellenroad at the time are unfortunate in developing an asbestos related illness."

Peter Rhodes, Senior Partner at Molesworths said:

"Although rare, Mesothelioma is a particular vicious form of cancer resulting from exposure to asbestos and can be contracted whilst just carrying out normal everyday duties where asbestos is present. Unfortunately a large number of people worked at sites in and around Rochdale where it was present who were similarly exposed to this danger. We would urge anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to asbestos or are suffering any ill affects that could be attributed to the exposure to asbestos to contact us immediately for a no obligation chat".

In addition to the Ellenroad site, Rochdale was also the home of the Turner Brothers Asbestos factory (latterly Turner & Newall), which at one point was the world’s largest asbestos textile factory and as the symptons of Mesothelioma take so long to appear following exposure, it can be difficult to trace former employers and their insurers.However, the team at Molesworths are experienced in locating them and have access to documentation that could assist other people who may have been exposed to asbestos at local sites.

If you require any further information then please do not hesitate to contact Molesworths Solicitors on 01706 356666.


The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

Molesworths Bright Clegg is a firm of solicitors established in the United Kingdom and is registered with theSolicitors Regulation Authority.

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