March 25, 2019

Claim for £300k over asbestos death is thrown out

THE family of a company boss who blamed his death from asbestos-related cancer on his work at Marks & Spencer in York have had their hopes of £300,000 compensation dashed by a top judge.

John Thorman Heward, who was managing director of Newcastle-based shopfitters, D.H Allan & Sons Ltd, was 61 when he died in 2009 from mesothelioma, an agonising cancer of the lining of the lungs which is invariably fatal.

Mr Heward, who started working for D.H Allan at the age of 16 before rising through the ranks, blamed his illness on work he carried out for Marks & Spencer Plc between 1967 and 1984.

He was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres whilst carrying out joinery work at a store in York in 1967 and, in later years, whilst modernizing 13 M&S stores across the North East..

Although Mr Heward died years before his case came to court, he made detailed statements which were used during the hearing at London’s High Court.

His wife, Catherine, did not long survive him and the case was pursued by the executors of her estate on behalf of surviving heirs.

Mr Heward had described himself as ‘suit and tie man’ who was unaware of the risks posed by asbestos and who did not start to wear protective clothing until 1984.

The family’s barrister, David Allan QC, told Judge David Pittaway QC that exposure to dust from asbestos tiles and pipe lagging whilst carrying out joinery work and inspecting ceilings in M&S stores was to blame for his “painful and distressing terminal illness”.

The barrister pointed to one alleged incident of exposure in particular, saying that, in 1967, Mr Heward was working beneath an asbestos ceiling which was being fitted at the York branch and quantities of asbestos dust were “falling directly on him.”

The QC added that, although D.H Allan did not work exclusively for M&S, 80% of its work was based at the company’s stores.

The court heard that, during the 1960’s and 1970’s, M&S stores underwent modernization, including having suspended ceilings made of Asbestelux tiles fitted.

After 1984, M&S put in place protocols to protect workers from asbestos, but lawyers argued that Mr Heward’s exposure up to that point was already enough to hand him a death sentence decades later.

Today Judge Pittaway said that asbestos had at the time been “used extensively” in M&S stores, particularly in ceiling tiles.

He added: “I am satisfied that Mr Heward contracted mesothelioma whilst he was carrying out work for D.H Allan at M&S stores sometime between 1967 and 1984”

However, dismissing the compensation claim, the judge said M&S had employed specialist contractors to carry out the work at the York store.

By the standards of the time, he ruled, it was “not reasonably foreseeable” that the presence of asbestos would pose a threat to the health of others working there.

Knowledge of the asbestos hazard was still developing in the 1960s and 1970s, and the level of Mr Heward’s exposure when inspecting and surveying ceiling voids would have been lower than hygiene or control limits in force at the time.

The judge concluded: “It follows that, in my view, the claim against M&S fails on both the exposure to asbestos that the deceased experienced in the York store in 1967, and in stores subsequently, whilist inspecting store premises”

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Claim for £300k over asbestos death is thrown out

KLS Equity to Open Second Round of Asbestos Advertising

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y., Sept. 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via PRWEB – KLS Equity Group will fund a second round of campaign finance for the production and media purchases of a group of trial attorneys focused on asbestos litigation. Over $30 billion of funds have been placed in trust funds to aid the victims of asbestos exposure. In May of 2014 KLS Equity opened Fund XVII to pay the advertising expenses for a select group of asbestos focused trial attorneys. The fund raised $6.1 million and hired KLS Media Group of Houston, Texas to handle production and media placement. The fund paid for a national advertising campaign running in over 50 major US markets as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico for roughly 90 days ending in early October. The campaign was a major success with participating attorneys retaining over $140 million in cases to date. The fund raised $5 million and will continue the mission of fund XVII’s national campaign for an additional two months, ending in mid-December. Daniel Spence, President of KLS Equity was the lead investor in KLS Equity Fund XVII. Spence Family Investments has pledged $3.5 million for the second round of asbestos advertising campaign financing. KLS Equity’s second round of asbestos campaign financing has closed and the fund is not considering any further outside investors.

About KLS Equity

KLS Equity is a private equity firm founded to finance the advertising campaigns of purpose driven companies that may not have the capital required to successfully launch a new brand, product, or idea. KLS Equity has provided advertising campaign finance for some of the world’s leading companies, including major oil and gas holdings, textiles, legal, and hospitality industries. KLS Equity has funded over $100 million in advertising campaigns.

About KLS Media

KLS Media Global is an advertising agency holding company based in Houston, Texas. KLS Media was founded in 1998. Daniel Spence was named CEO of KLS Media Global in 2005. KLS Media is set to surpass US$500 million in annual 2014 billings including over $366 million in media purchases. In 2013 a Texas based private equity firm purchased a majority stake in KLS Media Global and KLS Media is now asset managed by the equity firm.

This article was originally distributed on PRWeb. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit

KLS Media
Jacob Miller

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KLS Equity to Open Second Round of Asbestos Advertising

Solicitor's asbestos warning after death of pensioner

Solicitor’s asbestos warning after death of pensioner

York Press: Ray Brown died from the lung condition malignant mesothelioma

Ray Brown died from the lung condition malignant mesothelioma

A SOLICITOR has warned that asbestos disease does not have a ‘sell-by date’ after an inquest heard how an 86-year-old York man had become its latest victim.

Howard Bonnett, of Corries Solicitors, said that in recent times, he had been dealing with many more case of men and women in their 80s who were suffering the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.

He said York Acting Coroner Jonathan Leach had recorded at an inquest that Raymond Brown, of Rawcliffe, had died because of the cancer.

“The inquest heard evidence that Mr Brown had been exposed to asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s during his work as a pump engineer on large scale industrial projects including various power stations and factories,” he said.

“Mr Brown developed problems with breathing in February and following investigations he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March, and succumbed to the disease at York Hospital on April 5. He leaves a wife Margaret and children Christine and David.”

He said Mr Brown’s death was another sad tale of mesothelioma affecting an otherwise normal man.

“At 86, he rightfully thought he had missed this sad scourge which has affected too many people in the York area. I am sorry to say that asbestos disease does not have a “sell by “ date.

“Raymond’s death shows that if you have been exposed to asbestos then you have the risk of diseases like mesothelioma for the rest of your days.”

Mrs Brown said the family had known for many years that Raymond had developed asbestos damage to his lungs.

“We had hoped that he would not be another sad statistic of this awful disease,” she said.

“For many years, he suffered with ill health and we wish he had been around to have fought this disease and to have seen justice done.

“We hope other asbestos victims and their families keep an eye out on their health and make sure they get an early diagnosis and get the best treatment that they can “

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Solicitor's asbestos warning after death of pensioner

Asbestos death of city historian

Inquest hears Hugh Murray died from mesothelioma

Hugh Murray, 80, died of mesothelioma more than 50 years after being exposed to deadly asbestos

Hugh Murray, 80, died of mesothelioma more than 50 years after being exposed to deadly asbestos

A RENOWNED York historian was killed by asbestos more than 50 years after being exposed to the material while working on a railway line, an inquest has heard.

Hugh Murray, who amassed his own library containing thousands of books and photographs and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of York, came into contact with asbestos during his early career with British Rail. He later moved to managerial roles but developed mesothelioma symptoms last year, almost 25 years after retiring.

The 80-year-old, of Vyner Street, died in June after months of deteriorating health. An inquest has now heard he was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres in workshops while a British Rail graduate signals apprentice in the mid-1950s, and encountered asbestos between 1960 and 1962 while installing and testing signalling equipment on the London to Southend line.

Hull-born Mr Murray read physics at Oxford before joining British Rail, where he became divisional signals and telecommunications engineer at Norwich and later Leeds and ultimately moved to York to spend 14 years as signals engineer for the Eastern Railways region. He continued living in the city after retiring in 1988.

Mr Murray began showing symptoms of mesothelioma in spring 2012 and, despite treatment, his condition worsened and he died on June 8 this year. York coroner Donald Coverdale recorded a conclusion of industrial death.

Solicitor Daniel Wilson of York law firm Corries, which has represented Mr Murray’s family and others whose loved ones have died through asbestos exposure, said: “This is yet another sad case of a man from the railways industry who worked in an asbestos-contaminated environment.

“Despite his managerial role, in his early career he was unfortunately exposed to significant quantities of asbestos dust and fibre in employment. Little did he know this would cause his death more than 50 years later. His evidence shows that even those in management roles are not immune from developing asbestos disease and malignancy in later life.”

Mr Murray, who leaves a widow, Jill, began collecting books and old photographs once he retired, lectured on York’s history and wrote about 20 books. Following his death, tributes were paid by York Civic Trust director Peter Brown, the trust’s chairman Dr Peter Addyman and former University of York vice-chancellor and Reinvigorate York chairman Sir Ron Cooke, who described Mr Murray as “an extraordinary man”.

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