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Family’s appeal after inquest reveals Durham man’s death was likely to have been caused by asbestos exposure at former place of work

A forklift driver from Stanley, Durham, was likely to have been exposed to asbestos when he worked at the Ransom, Hoffman & Pollard Plant in Greencroft, which eventually led to his death of epithelioid mesothelioma in 2022, an inquest heard

Posted on 24 August 2023

Now the family of John Gill, who died aged 74, are appealing for information from his former colleagues at Alkar Limited/ Montan Group (at the Ransom, Hoffman & Pollard Plant in Greencroft) who may be able to provide insight into the use of asbestos at the company.

John worked for Alkar Limited/ Montan Group between 1986/87 to 1994/95. His family believe that he was likely exposed to asbestos during this time due to a letter found among John’s personal possessions from Montan Group dated 9 August 1990. The letter described exposure to asbestos at the Ransom, Hoffman & Pollard plant in Greencroft that had taken place in 1989. John’s family also found a clipping from a newspaper that described how asbestos had been found at this site where John worked.

John Gill. 

The Ransom, Hoffman & Pollard factory contained extensive pipework which John’s family believe to have been lagged with asbestos. John may have been exposed to asbestos when the overhead pipe lagging was damaged by the moving forklift truck.

In the years before 2022 John was in good health, however, his health quickly deteriorated in March 2022 and a diagnosis of epithelioid mesothelioma was made on 13 June. John died on 28 June at the University Hospital of North Durham and the cause of death was given as mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure.

John’s death was investigated by the coroner, who considered all of John’s previous employers and was satisfied, on the basis of the contemporary evidence found in John’s possession, that the exposure at the Ransom, Hoffman, & Pollard Plant was most likely the cause of his mesothelioma.

After the inquest concluded, John’s family approached the asbestos claims team at law firm Leigh Day to investigate the use of asbestos at the Ransom, Hoffman, & Pollard Plant.

Steve Dickens, partner in the Leigh Day asbestos claims team, said:

“Epithelioid mesothelioma is a devastating disease, one which made John’s health decline rapidly. John’s family are looking for answers following the coroner’s findings that John’s asbestos exposure most likely occurred at the Ransom, Hoffman, & Pollard Plant. We would be grateful if any of John’s former colleagues could come forward with relevant information to help the family’s legal claim.”

If you are able to provide any relevant information please contact at Steve Dickens SDickens@leighday.co.uk

Steven Dickens
Asbestos and mesothelioma Industrial disease

Steven Dickens

Leading Manchester and North East mesothelioma claims lawyer

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Asbestos and industrial diseases

Get help today if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease

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Mesothelioma claims

Thousands of people are diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases annually, including mesothelioma, a cancer affecting the pleural lining of the lungs and almost exclusively caused by asbestos