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Manchester plumber’s fatal diagnosis delayed by COVID-19 pandemic

The family of a man whose fatal diagnosis was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic are appealing for information from his former work colleagues.

Posted on 18 May 2021

John Barlow, of Droylsden, died aged 84, just four months after he was told he was terminally ill with the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma.

His diagnosis was delayed because of the pandemic, say his family, which meant industrial injury lawyers at Leigh Day did not have the opportunity to speak with him about his work history.

John worked as a plumber and heating engineer in Greater Manchester, and his family believe he was exposed to lethal asbestos while he was working for the company Lorne Stewart from 1980 to 1992. He had also worked as a plumber and heating engineer for many years, including periods of employment with J Gerrard & Sons, Manchester Corporation and Sulzer Brothers in the late 1960s.

The family are appealing to anyone who worked with John to help them fill in the gaps with information about working practices at the time.

John’s family have information that he was exposed to asbestos on two projects while working for Lorne Stewart. The first job was at Clayton Aniline where it is believed John stripped asbestos lagging from pipework without wearing proper protective equipment.

The second job was at Manchester University where John worked under floors removing and replacing old pipework which it is believed was lagged with asbestos. John had to drag out the pipes in a confined space and the pipes produced a lot of dust.

On 1 August 2020, John was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. He died on 9 December 2020.

Steven Dickens, asbestos claims solicitors at Leigh Day, said:

“John was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2020. His family believe that his diagnosis was delayed due to the pandemic and as such, we did not have the opportunity to speak directly to him about his work history.

“John’s family believe he was exposed to asbestos in his working life as a plumber and heating engineer. We are appealing to anybody who worked with him who might assist his family in filling in the gaps as to which of his employers exposed him to the asbestos that led to his death.”

Anyone who has information can contact Steven Dickens on 0161 393 3574 or email sdickens@leighday.co.uk.

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Steven Dickens
Asbestos and mesothelioma

Steven Dickens

Leading Manchester and North East mesothelioma claims lawyer

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