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Legal victory for ex-Leeds factory worker in asbestos battle

The former JW Roberts factory in Armley

The former JW Roberts factory in Armley

A former factory worker suffering from an illness caused by exposure to asbestos dust has won a legal victory – with a little help from the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Richard Bold developed the lung condition pleural thickening after 22 years on the staff at the old Greenwood & Batley factory on Armley Road, Leeds.

Industrial disease experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell established he was exposed to asbestos, not only at Greenwood & Batley but also while growing up near the notorious JW Roberts plant in Armley.

He has now secured a damages settlement, thanks in part to information provided about working practices at Greenwood & Batley by a former colleague who came forward following an appeal in the YEP.

Mr Bold said: “My condition has had a massive impact on my life and to think it was caused by not only where I was employed, but the area I used to live in more than 50 years ago was a huge shock.

“I was not aware of the dangers of going to school and the fact that it could result in an illness so many years later. The factory was also always so dirty and dusty but I was never warned about the dangers of asbestos nor was I given a mask or any other protective breathing equipment.

“I am just thankful that the witness appeal was successful and that I now have protection for the future.”

Mr Bold, who today lives on Humberside, worked at Greenwood & Batley from 1962 to 1984, joining as an apprentice before qualifying as a capstan lathe operator.

Armley’s JW Roberts factory spewed out deadly asbestos dust for decades before closing in 1958.

The dust affected hundreds of workers and other local residents – including campaigner June Hancock, who died in 1997.

 

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