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Terminally Ill Man in Staff Plea

Terminally Ill Man in Staff Plea. Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), February 9, 2005

Byline: By Louise Redvers

Dying engineer Alan Whitfield is urging former workmates to step forward to help him win a battle for asbestos compensation.

Mr Whitfield, 66, has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, which has no known cure.

He believes he caught the disease, which is caused by asbestos spores and can leave its victims with only months to live, after working as an engineer at C A Parsons in Heaton, Newcastle.

Mr Whitfield worked for the well-known engineering firm in the 1960s and 1970s and is calling for former colleagues to help him to fight a compensation battle.

He trained as an apprentice engineer with the company and was employed there until 1978.

He believes he was exposed to asbestos while working in the test department.

He remembers steam pipes were lagged with asbestos insulation and asbestos blankets were placed over the machines during testing.

His solicitor Helen Ashton said: "Alan and his family are devastated at the news he has mesothelioma and are trying to come to terms with the fact he has a life-threatening illness.

"He was not exposed to asbestos with any subsequent employers and we believe his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibre while he was employed by CA Parsons Ltd.

"We're currently trying to trace former work colleagues, or the families of former work colleagues, who may be able to assist Alan in providing further details as to the nature of his exposure to asbestos."

Mr Whitfield, who now lives in Nottinghamshire, said he remembers working with a number of colleagues, including John Seymour of Newcastle; Harry Turner of Wallsend; Harry O'Neill of Whitley Bay; Michael Costigan of Wallsend; Alec Wallace; John Sanderson, of Crawcrook; Ken Cathy of Newcastle; Ray Denwood of Winlaton; Don Smith of Gosforth; and Albert Chisholm of Newcastle.

Anyone who recalls working with Mr Whitfield should contact Helen Ashton or Martyn Hayward at IM on 0870 1500 100.