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Asbestos Lagged Pipes

Family appeals for information following Manchester engineer’s asbestos-related death

A former engineer at Francis Shaw and Company’s Manchester factory died from an asbestos-related lung disease, which his family believe may have been caused by asbestos exposure at the factory.

Posted on 19 February 2024

Now they are appealing to other former employees at Francis Shaw and Company to share their recollections of working at the Clayton factory to help with a legal claim.

John McLellan, of Droylsden, Manchester, died in February 2022 aged 77 after the asbestos related disease caused him to lose over two stone in weight and spend several weeks in hospital.

John worked for Francis Shaw and Company Limited at its factory near Clayton from 1961 to 1978. After working briefly at another firm, he returned to company in 1979 and remained there until he retired in 2010.

John recalled that the factory was a large warehouse with asbestos-lagged pipes throughout.

As an electrician in the fitting section, John’s role was to manufacture machines that made tyres. He worked near to fitters who pasted asbestos around drums which would then be encased in aluminium to provide insulation for the machines in which tyres were baked.

John remembered that as the fitters worked, considerable amounts of asbestos dust would be dispersed into the air where he was working. John was not provided with any adequate respiratory protection.

Picture of John McLellan
Picture of John McLellan


Asbestos-related diseases take decades to develop in an individual after exposure and John first became ill in 2019, experiencing shortness of breath and weight loss.

The COVID-19 pandemic halted investigations into the cause of his illness, but he was admitted to hospital in June 2021 where he remained for several weeks. John was then allowed home, but his health continued to decline and when he was readmitted to hospital in December he was told that he had an asbestos-related condition.

John died at home on 24 February 2022. An inquest was held into his death and the coroner concluded it had been a result of John’s asbestos-related lung disease.

John’s wife Mary McLellan then turned to law firm Leigh Day to investigate a potential claim for compensation regarding the possible presence of asbestos at the Francis Shaw factory.

Despite the coroner’s conclusion, it is important to establish where John’s exposure to asbestos happened. Mary believes John’s exposure to the lethal substance happened when he worked at the Francis Shaw Clayton factory. However, she needs to hear from others who worked at the company at the same time as John to listen to their recollections of the working practices John described.

Anyone who can help is asked to contact Mary’s solicitor, Leigh Day partner Steve Dickens.

Steven Dickens said:

“Throughout his employment at Francis Shaw and Company, John was not provided with any adequate masks or respiratory protection, nor was he given any instruction about the dangers of asbestos dust to his health. John suffered greatly as a result of his asbestos-related illness and his death has had a devastating impact on his family.“We seek others who have worked at Francis Shaw factory near Clayton at the same time as John who may be able to recall him or, at the very least, to provide us with any information they hold as regard the use of asbestos throughout the factory.”

Steven Dickens
Asbestos and mesothelioma Industrial disease

Steven Dickens

Leading Manchester and North East mesothelioma claims lawyer

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