March 25, 2019

Implants 'as dangerous as asbestos'

Taken from: 

Implants 'as dangerous as asbestos'

Family of asbestos victim exposed at Glasgow carpet factory appeal to former colleagues for help

Frances Hamilton was 75 when she died in May 2014, not long after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. The incurable disease is a form of cancer which attacks the lining of the lungs, caused by inhaling asbestos dust and fibres decades ago.

Before her death, Ms Hamilton told lawyers acting in her case that she believed she was exposed to the deadly substance while working at the Templeton carpet factory in Bridgeton, Glasgow, from the late 1950s to the mid-60s. The factory, then run by James Templeton and Company, had been built 1892 and was at one time the largest carpet manufacturer in the world.

She later worked with her mother, who also died of mesothelioma, at Wrights Insulation in 1967 where were exposed to asbestos while sewing boiler covers for steam locomotive engines.

Her son, Mark MacLellan, 48, has instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell Scotland to investigate the conditions that his mother was exposed to and what measures, if any, were put in place to prevent workers being exposed to asbestos.

Ms Hamilton told her family she worked in an “extremely dusty” environment and was provided with no overalls or gloves to protect her from coming into contact with the hazardous substance.

Laura McCallum, a specialist asbestos lawyer at the Glasgow legal firm, said: “Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive disease and causes a great deal of pain and suffering for victims like Frances.

“Employers knew the risks of asbestos when she began working in the 1950s and should have provided her with protection to prevent exposure to the dust.

“We would like to hear from employees who worked at the Templeton carpet factory and mill between 1955 and 1975 on the working conditions that they were exposed to and what protective equipment, if any, was provided by their employers.

“This information will be crucial in helping Frances’ family secure justice for their mother and grandmother and we hope anyone who worked with Frances will come forward with the information we need to ensure those responsible for her exposure to asbestos are held to account.”

Another former employee, Helen Winning, who worked at the factory from 1964 until the early 1980s, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006. Her mother, who had been a weaver at Templetons, also died from mesothelioma in 1994.

The factory, which overlooks Glasgow Green and the People’s Palace, was designed by the Scottish architect, William Leiper, and inspired by the medieval Palazzo Ducale in Venice.

It was blighted by tragedy soon after opening when a factory wall collapsed during high winds in 1889, trapping 100 women in the weaving workshop and killing 29.

A fire the following year claimed more lives.

In 1981, James Templeton and Co. merged with A F Stoddard and Henry Widnell & Stewart to form Elderslie-based Stoddard Carpets, which eventually went bust in 2005. The former factory has now been converted into flats and is also home to the West Brewery.

However, the lawyers believe they would be able to sue the factory’s former insurers, which provided cover to the factory from 1950 to 1970.

Payouts could also be sought against the former insurers of Wrights Insulation, which is also defunct.

Mr MacLellan, who lives in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, said: “My mother was devastated when she lost her mum to mesothelioma, so for her to suffer from the same disease was absolutely devastating.

“To find out the disease was caused by her exposure to asbestos simply by going to work every day is even more upsetting for the family.”

Anyone with information about working conditions at the Templeton carpet factory should contact Laura McCallum at Irwin Mitchell Scotland on 0141 300 4083.

Taken from: 

Family of asbestos victim exposed at Glasgow carpet factory appeal to former colleagues for help

Flats asbestos evacuation extended

More than 100 residents who were moved out of a block of flats when asbestos was disturbed by maintenance workers will remain out of their homes over the weekend.

North Lanarkshire Council moved all tenants from Anderson Tower in Motherwell as a precautionary measure after concerns were raised yesterday.

The substance is thought to have been disturbed during mains cabling replacement work which was being carried out at the tower by ScottishPower.

The council said it ensured all tenants were accommodated overnight, with some in hotels, a number in temporary council accommodation and others staying with friends and family.

Some asbestos dust has been found in halls and lobbies, with c lean-up work starting yesterday and continuing to Monday. Residents are unable to return until then.

The council’s housing operations manager, Stephen Llewelyn, said: “Tests have shown small amounts of asbestos dust in hall and hall cupboards as well as lift lobbies and one lift.

As a precautionary measure the contractor has been instructed to clean all halls and communal areas.

“Tenants will not be able to return to the building until we are satisfied that this is complete.

“We are confident that any risk is extremely low. Asbestos generally poses a health risk through exposure over a long period in high concentrations. What we have found is small areas of settled dust.

“We are working closely with ScottishPower, their contractors and the Health and Safety Executive to ensure all safety standards are met.”

Mr Llewelyn added that residents ” fully appreciate” the efforts of council staff.

“We are very grateful to both the residents and their families for their support,” he said.

“Emptying a block of flats within the timescale was no easy task and we are pleased that, working with the tenants and their families, this was a textbook operation.”

Visit source: 

Flats asbestos evacuation extended

Kelman hails bid to recoup asbestos costs

Legislation lodged at the ­Scottish Parliament could pave the way for health boards to claw back the costs of diagnosing and treating the victims of asbestos-related disease from former employers. Campaigners claim incurable diseases caused by ­exposure to asbestos, such as mesothelioma and pleural plaques, cost the NHS in Scotland about £20 million a year.

Loading article content

Kelman, who has campaigned for compensation for asbestos victims since the 1990s, said: “It’s a step closer to getting industry to take responsibility, and for all those employers who used asbestos knowing what they were exposing the workers to. That would be a big improvement, but I’m sure as we speak the lawyers for insurance companies will be doing everything in their power to avoid it.”

Kelman has previously ­criticised the legal hurdles facing sufferers, saying the “burden of proof is on the victim to prove that you are a victim”.

Thompsons Solicitors, which is acting in about 80% of asbestos cases in Scotland, said it was representing about 1200 people at any one time. A spokesman for the firm said: “There are more cases coming forward than ever before from people who were historically exposed – hospital cleaners, school cleaners and so on.”

The Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Scotland) Bill was lodged yesterday by West of Scotland MSP Stuart McMillan. Similar legislation was passed by the Welsh Assembly last November, but has been stymied by legal questions over how to enact it.

The NHS has been able to recover the costs of treating the victims of accidents since 2003, where an individual made a successful claim against a third party. However, this principle does not cover diseases.

Mr McMillan said: “There is a substantial financial cost to the NHS in diagnosing and managing asbestos-related conditions and this is something that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

However, he added that he expects strong resistance to the move from insurers.

Dave Moxham, deputy leader of the STUC, which is backing the new legislation, said: “The NHS and palliative care services currently have to meet these costs from their own overstretched funds. It is time for the employers and the insurance industry to meet their obligations and reimburse the cost of the medical care, as these costs would not exist if there had not been negligence on the part of the employer.”

Alan Kirk, a surgeon and ­director of the pressure group Clydeside Action, estimated the cost for diagnosing and managing mesothelioma – a tumour on the lung – at £60,000 a patient.

He said: “If these sums can be recovered as part of the civil compensation case, funds are going back into the NHS to help to care for the Scottish population.”

View original article: 

Kelman hails bid to recoup asbestos costs