Earby man in High Court damages claim

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A retired maintenance man from Earby, who blames his devastating lung cancer on exposure to asbestos at a local factory, has launched a High Court damages claim.

Andrew Smith (64), worked for Johnson & Johnson and its successor, Systagenix Wound Management Limited, for 40 years between 1970 and 2010.

He worked as a maintenance fitter at a plant in Earby until 2000 when he transferred to a factory in Gargrave, according to a writ issued by his lawyers.

His legal team says Mr Smith, of Longroyd Road, showed the first signs of terrifying disease, malignant mesothelioma, in late 2012.

The condition is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, commonly linked to asbestos, and is notorious for its incurability and the agony suffered by its victims.

The writ claims that Mr Smith was exposed to asbestos while maintaining factory boilers between 1975 and late 1980s or early 1990s.

He is suing Systagenix, who his lawyers say inherited the responsibilities of Johnson & Johnson following a shift in his employment.

And his legal team says his claim against the company is worth “£50,000 or more”.

Systagenix’s defence to the claim was not available from the court and the contents of the writ have yet to be tested in evidence before a judge.