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Dec 18, 2020

Local man from Oldham launched High Court damages claim against council and Ferranti for causing cancer


Mr Richardson worked at the Ferranti site Cairo Mill and has launched a legal battle at London’s High Court for compensation of more than £200,000.

Mr Richardson is seeking compensation from his former employers, Oldham Metropolitian Borough Council and Ferranti International plc. They are accused of negligently exposing him to asbestos dust and fibres causing him to develop malignant mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a malignant form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres. Over 2,600 people in the UK alone are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.

Like with many mesothelioma sufferers Mr Richardson first noticed he was suffering from breathlessness and a cough in January 2020, followed by chest pain. One month later in February 2020 he had to stop work. Mr Richardson has had radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well as having gone through numerous medical procedures and sadly has a bleak prognosis. He will suffer increasing breathlessness, chest pain, debility and dependence on others for the rest of his life.

It is Mr Richardson’s case that he was exposed to asbestos when he worked for the council as a joiner on various sites around Oldham between 1960 and 1969. He was extensively exposed to asbestos when he used a circular saw to cut asbestos sheets for new roofs and when he used asbestos insulation boards for boiler cupboards, soffits and ceiling tiles. All these jobs required him to handle, cut, drill and fit asbestos sheets which would create significant amounts of asbestos dust directly into his breathing zone. He was not able to get away from it. Once he had completed a job he then had to sweep up the dust which would further disperse the dust into his breathing space.

Mr Richardson was also exposed to asbestos at Ferranti where he worked as a maintenance joiner and then a foreman for 22 years, between 1970 and 1992 at three factories; Avenue Works, Crown Works and Cairo Mill. Here he worked alongside other tradesman who stripped asbestos insulation from pipework to carry out maintenance, repairs and alterations as well as those who reapplied asbestos insulation to pipework. Reapplying asbestos insulation involved mixing dry asbestos fibres with water to make a paste which was then applied to pipework. Mixing dry asbestos with water was a very dusty process however in later years this method was replaced by the use of preformed sections of asbestos insulation. Mr Richardson often climbed over pipework lagged with asbestos. This disturbed the asbestos and significant amounts of asbestos fibres and dust would be released into the air.

Both the council and Ferranti are being accused of negligently exposing him to asbestos at a time when they knew it was potentially harmful. They both failed to protect him from asbestos, failed to warn him of the risk to his health and failed to provide him with a safe workplace.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness or believes they have been exposed to asbestos please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 294 3065.

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