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Son Is Taking Cash Fight to Parliament

Byline: By Gayle Tomlinson Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), June 23, 2005

A grieving son is travelling to Parlia-ment to fight for his dead dad's asbestos compensation.

Campaigning Colin Laidler, 47, will meet with MPs next month to tell them how his father died from mesothelioma while left on a waiting list for a cash payout.

Ronald died in 2002, aged 70, after a two year wait for compensation from Turner and Newall.

Four years later the family still haven't seen a penny after Turner and Newall's new owners, Federal Mogul, went into administration.

Ronald had worked for the firm, previously known as the Washington Chemical Company, for 39 years. He started out at the firm as an apprentice plumber and when he retired he was maintenance controller.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma around 2000 and quickly settled a claim with Turner and Newall.

But Ronald died still waiting for the cash, which he hoped would secure the future for his wife Sarah.

He is one of 100 people who have died while waiting for Federal Mogul's finances to be sorted out.

All compensation cases have been frozen as the firm settles an argument over how much it thinks it should pay.

Now Colin, from Donwell, Washington, is heading to Parliament to address MPs on the family's battle.

He will join Ian McFall from Thompson Solicitors in Newcastle. They will meet a group of MPs to put pressure on Federal Mogul to start paying out to victims affected after working in the firm's British plants.

Colin said: "We were devastated by the death of my father and the way it occurred. The claim was settled when my father was still alive.

"He hoped the payout would be made during his lifetime so he at least he would have the knowledge my mother was financially looked after.

"This has obviously doubled the grief we have suffered." The MPs will also be briefed by Mr McFall and administrator Colin Freakly.

Mr McFall said: "Each of us will give presentations explaining our perspectives on what we have gone through and how we feel about it.

"It is to inform the MPs so they can apply some pressure. It is really another way to get Turner and Newall back on to the political radar.

"If we get the message through then they can take it back to their constituencies and hopefully we will start to see some progress."

Federal Mogul went into administration in 2001 and the process froze any compensation claims by people suffering from asbestos-related diseases.

Turner and Newall in Washington made asbestos while Newalls Insulation hired contractors to put asbestos in to ships and premises.

It is believed one in three claims lodged with the firm live in the region.