THE son of a Mirfield sheet metal worker who died from asbestos-related cancer wants answers about the cause of his father’s death.
James ‘Jim’ Hacking, pictured, died in October 2013, aged 67, from mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Jim’s son, James, sought the help of specialist lawyers to investigate where and how his dad was exposed to asbestos dust – and if more could have been done to protect him.
His job at the now-defunct Tru-Form Sheet Metal Company in Gomersal, where he worked between 1972-1974 and 1975-1979, involved carrying out fabrication work on various sites and meant he was frequently exposed to asbestos dust and fibres.
James said: “We need answers and justice for him.
“I hope his former colleagues will be able to tell us about the conditions that they and my dad experienced, how he came to be exposed to this lethal material and why something wasn’t done to prevent that exposure.
“Before his diagnosis, dad was a very fit and active man and it was so hard to see his health deteriorate so quickly.”
James, 47, told his legal team how he remembered his dad working away at Catterick Garrison while employed by Tru-Form.
He added: “After dad’s diagnosis, he would regularly bring up the job at Catterick Garrison.
“He would recall seeing the asbestos dust in the air when the light came through the windows of the room in which they were working.
“He described the air as being thick with it and said he and his colleagues were not given masks when doing this work.”
Jim began suffering from a shortness of breath and chest pains in April 2013 and was told by doctors in July 2013 that he had mesothelioma. He died shortly after.
Lucy Andrews, a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Mesothelioma causes a great deal of distress and suffering to the victims and their families and it is often the case that exposure to asbestos occurs when employers turn a blind eye to the safety implications of working in and around the deadly substance.
“Unfortunately, it is usually the case the symptoms associated with mesothelioma only present themselves decades after the exposure takes place.
“In Jim’s case it was about 40 years after his exposure.
“In some cases, once the victim passes away, the only hope families have for justice is to secure the help of former workers who may themselves be at risk of this disease.
“We would ask anyone who thinks they might have information about the working conditions at Tru-Form Sheet Metal Company, or the presence of asbestos at the firm, to contact us and help Jim’s family secure closure following his death.”
Anyone with any information should contact Lucy Andrews on 0113 3946782 or email Lucy.Andrews@IrwinMitchell.com.