‘I can no longer do the things I love’ – former Sunderland bricklayer says asbestos ruined his life

ASBESTOS ... John Chapman, 84 has an asbestos related illness.
ASBESTOS ... John Chapman, 84 has an asbestos related illness.
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A FORMER bricklayer says his life has been ruined by asbestos.

John Chapman wants an investigation into where he was exposed to deadly dust.

The 84-year-old, from Chilton Moor, said he had enjoyed an active life until he was diagnosed last month with pleural thickening, an asbestos-related lung disease which has left him breathless and too tired to go out.

A law firm has now taken up his case, as he embarks on an investigation into where he was exposed to asbestos in his working career.

Now John is appealing for his old workmates to help him in his compensation claim.

“I can’t go out anymore,” he said. “It means I can no longer do things I love.

“I used to play bowls four or five times a week.

“This year, I won’t be able to play at all.

“I used to enjoy cooking and gardening regularly too, but now even these simple hobbies are too tiring.

“Many tasks people take for granted have become too difficult because they leave me completely out of breath.”

John worked at Isaac Berriman Limited between 1953 and 1964 as a bricklayer and site foreman before working at Kendall Cross (Holdings) on a project in the North East.

Isobel Lovett, an industrial illness expert at legal firm 
Irwin Mitchell, said: “John worked long, hard hours on construction sites throughout his career and should now be spending his well-earned 
retirement doing the things he enjoys.

“Sadly, he is unable to do this because of the lasting impact caused by the deadly asbestos dust.

“I urge anyone who worked for Isaac Berriman in the 1950s and 1960s to contact me to help with our investigation.

“Equally, we want to speak to people who worked at Kendall Cross between 1966 and 1992.”

Isobel can be contacted on 279 0104.

In March this year, the 
UK Supreme Court placed insurance liability at the time an employee was exposed to asbestos, not when symptoms appeared.

Some insurers had argued that they were not liable to pay compensation if illness occurred outside the relevant policy period.

Twitter: @sunechohannah