Widow appeals for help in fight for justice

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Widow appeals for help in fight for justice

20th October 2010

The widow of a London man who died from an asbestos-related cancer is appealing for her husband's former colleagues to come forward and help in her fight for justice.

John Cleary, 64, died in April 2010 from mesothelioma, a painful cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. After being diagnosed with the disease in December 2009, Mr Cleary launched his campaign for compensation against the former employer who he believed was responsible for exposing him to asbestos.

Nick Greaves, an industrial diseases specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said: "Although John was just a teenager when he was first exposed to asbestos in 1961, it wasn't until July 2009, more than fifty years later that he began experiencing symptoms of breathlessness," he said.

Following her husband's death earlier this year, Mr Cleary's wife Christine is now continuing her husband's fight for compensation. "Mrs Cleary is hoping that anyone who remembers working with her late husband or who might be able to help her case will come forward," said Mr Greaves.

He said Mr Cleary believed he was exposed to asbestos while working as an electrician in the 1960s for a London company known as Electro Installations (London) Ltd.

"For the first three or four years of his employment," said Mr Greaves, "John worked on the company's main contract at Southall Gas Works dragging heavy cables over pipes lagged with asbestos. This would cause the lagging to break apart and release asbestos fibres into the air to create what he termed a 'cloudy atmosphere'."

"John would be breathing this toxic air the whole time he was working in what was a very confined and unventilated space, measuring only two or three feet high and four feet wide."

Owned by a Jack Atkins, Electro Installations (London) Ltd was based in Holborn Viaduct and commonly had between four and six employees. "At its height, the company employed up to 30 people before it eventually went out of business in the early 1970s," said Mr Greaves.

"From 1966, Mr Cleary was based at Greenwich, Beckton, Brentford and Kensal Green Gas Works, doing similar work with asbestos-lagged pipes," he said. "It was very common for there to be asbestos dust in the air and on the ground which would get into his hair and clothes. There were never any precautions taken and the asbestos would simply be swept into a corner and left."

Mr Greaves said he is now hoping former colleagues, people previously employed by Electro Installations (London) Ltd or anyone who has brought a similar claim for compensation against the firm, will be able to offer information to help Mr Cleary's widow as she continues the fight for justice her husband began before he died.

"Unless we can prove that John was exposed to asbestos from his time with Electro Installations (London) Ltd," said Mr Greaves, "his wife may go uncompensated for the fact that she lost her husband to this dreadful illness."

Can you help?
If you remember working alongside John Cleary, if you worked for Electro Installations (London) Ltd at Southall, Greenwich, Beckton, Brentford or Kensal Green Gas Works, or if you have made or know of others who have made similar claims against the company, please call Nick Greaves on 0207 092 2833 or e-mail nick.greaves@fentons.co.uk.

Issued by Fentons Solicitors LLP, www.fentons.co.uk. For further information please contact Peter Kirby, PR & Communications Executive, on 0207 092 2848 or at peter.kirby@fentons.co.uk.