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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
August 16, 2018

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Widow launches appeal for information after asbestos-related death

The widow of a Newcastle man who was diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease has appealed for her husband’s former workmates to come forward and help her gain justice.

Neil Roythorne, from Camperdown, passed away in February at Freeman Hospital. He was admitted in late 2016 after developing symptoms of pancreatitis.

Subsequent tests confirmed that he had developed both a pleural effusion and pleural thickening thought to have been caused by asbestos exposure.

Before his death, he called on specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help him gain answers regarding how he came into contact with the deadly material and whether more could have been done to protect him from the risk of exposure.

Now his widow, Susan and the legal team at Irwin Mitchell have appealed for anyone who worked with Neil during his time at JT Roofing Company Ltd in the late 1970s and early 1980s to come forward and shed light on the presence of asbestos during a range of projects.

“Before his death, Neil and I spoke about his old working environments,” said his widow.

“He told me that a lot of his work involved covering existing roofs with a hessian and cold tar product. Most of the time the roofs tended to be corrugated asbestos sheeting and, as they needed to be swept before the product was applied, a lot of dust was generated.

“He was also present when a lot of repairs were carried out and that could have a similar effect,” she added.

“What was really hard to hear was that he was never given any protective equipment during his time there.”

Roger Maddocks, a Partner who heads the asbestos-related disease team in Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, added: “This is yet another terrible example of the huge impact that asbestos exposure can have on a person’s health, often many years after the initial exposure to the material is thought to have occurred.

“Following our instruction from Neil, he informed us of his time at JT Roofing Company and we are keen to learn more about the working conditions he is thought to have faced during his employment with the firm,” added Mr Maddocks.

“As such, we would be keen to hear from anyone who not only worked with Neil but could also provide details of the presence of asbestos. Any information could prove absolutely vital to his battle for justice.”

Anyone with information should contact Sonia Akram on 0191 434 0719 or email  [email protected].

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