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Firms pay up over builder's death from asbestos illness.

Colin Allen Two construction firms have paid out a six-figure compensation to relatives of a former Staffordshire bricklayer who died from asbestos-related cancer.

Colin Allen, from Great Wyrley, near Cannock, died three months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2004.

The cancer is caused by exposure to dangerous asbestos particles.

His family have been locked in a legal battle against Mr Allen's former employers, F & E V Linford Ltd and Sir Alfred McAlpine Capital Projects Ltd.

Despite initially defending the claim, the companies have now made a joint outof-court settlement to Mr Allen's widow, Dorothy.

She said: "Watching Colin go through his illness was incredibly difficult.

He was my partner and soul mate and he has tragically been taken from me by this terrible illness." The 73-year-old victim worked for F & E V Linford as an apprentice bricklayer from 1945 to 1949, when he was contracted to work at Lotus Shoe factory, in Stafford. His relatives claim he was exposed to asbestos while working in the boiler house, alongside laggers applying asbestos to the boiler and pipework.

They say he also came into contact with asbestos while working for construction firm Sir Alfred McAlpine in the mid-1960s, when as a bricklayer he was working alongside laggers applying asbestos to a school in Metchley Lane, Birmingham.

Family solicitor Iain Shoolbred, from law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: "Colin's case was a difficult one because he was exposed to asbestos more than 60 years ago, quite early in his working life, by the first defendant and for a relatively short period by the second defendant.

"Nevertheless we were able to successfully conclude the claim for Mr Allen's family." Both firms said an out-of-court settlement was reached, but there was no admission of liability for causing Mr Allen's illness in the compensation agreement..
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 3, 2009
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