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Family of former Greater Manchester worker receives settlement following asbestos-related death

The family of a former builder and fireman from Leigh, Greater Manchester, has received a six-figure settlement following his asbestos-related death.

Allan Grundy

11 December 2019

Allan Grundy was 71 years-old when he died in October 2017 from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. 

Allan worked at Saunders Concrete Limited, based in Astley in Greater Manchester, from 1969 to 1971. The company used to manufacture pre-fabricated buildings. Allan’s job was to transport materials to be used on building sites and to help construct buildings, predominantly garages. He believed that the materials he collected included asbestos sheets which he had to carry, cut and drill. To secure the sheets onto the timber frame Allan drilled holes into them, putting in bolts and nuts to hold them into place. He believed that this caused further dust which got onto his hands and clothes. He also picked up any offcuts and dry swept any dust, which he claimed disturbed the dust even further. He alleged that he was not provided with a mask or any warnings and trainings about the dangers of working with asbestos while working at Saunders Concrete Limited. 

From 1974 to 1991, Allan worked at the Greater Manchester Fire Service at the Eccles and then the Leigh fire stations. He believed that he had to wear asbestos suits and gloves and used to handle asbestos fire blankets which were dusty. He also alleged that he was exposed to asbestos when fighting and extinguishing fires and handling debris at various buildings. He regularly attended calls in old buildings which he believed contained asbestos lagged pipes which had to be checked for lingering embers and then removed. Allan claimed that the lagging was very dry and crumbled to dust when he pulled it off. His job also involved pulling down damaged roofs which he believed contained asbestos sheets and created dust when they fell. Allan alleged that he was not provided with any training or warnings about the dangers of asbestos and no tests were done to check if buildings contained asbestos. 

Allan developed a cough early in 2016. His GP referred him for an x-ray which showed he had a shadow on his right lung. He was then referred for a CT scan which showed he had fluid on his lungs and had pleural thickening, a lung disease commonly caused by asbestos exposure. They then performed a biopsy and the results confirmed that Allan had mesothelioma. Allan was an inpatient at Wigan and Leigh Hospice from 3rd October 2017 until he died on 23rd October 2017 from mesothelioma.

Allan’s family instructed Leigh Day to recover the hospice costs as part of the civil claim. The hospice costs were recovered and sent to Wigan & Leigh Hospice and his family received a six-figure settlement. Saunders Concrete Limited and Greater Manchester Fire Service did not admit liability. 

Kevin Johnson, asbestos claims solicitor at Leigh Day, said:

“We believe that Allan was exposed to asbestos while he worked at Saunders Concrete Limited and the Greater Manchester Fire Service.

“Allan sadly died in October 2017 but we are pleased that we have been able to secure a settlement for his family and recover costs from the defendants on behalf of the hospice in relation to the support that they provided to Allan during his illness.”

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