Former teacher seeks colleagues in asbestos exposure battle

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Lawyers acting for a former teacher at schools in Burnley and Pendle who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma are launching an urgent appeal to trace her former co-workers.

Janet Gent, who worked for Lancashire County Council at Walton High School, Nelson, from 1973 until 1981 as a home economics teacher, has been diagnosed with the fatal asbestos-related cancer.

She believes she was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres while working at the school but Thompsons Solicitors, who are acting on her behalf, understand neither she nor her colleagues were made aware by Lancashire County Council of the dangers they faced in their working environment.

Between 1983 and 1995, Janet was also employed by Lancashire County Council as a supply teacher at various schools in the two boroughs, including Gawthorpe, Barden, Walshaw, Ivy Bank, Habergham and St Theodore’s High Schools in Burnley and Primet High and Park High, Colne, Mansfield High, Brierfield, Gibfield Special School, Colne and Hendon Brook and Townhouse Schools in Nelson.

Janet is calling on her former colleagues to get in contact with Thompsons to provide vital evidence about her working environment.

Joanne Candlish, Head of the Liverpool Asbestos Team from Thompsons Solicitors, which specialises in asbestos related diseases said: “Asbestos-related diseases will cause 3,000 deaths a year and will be the biggest industrial killer of all time.

“We are seeing more and more schoolteachers, support staff and even former pupils diagnosed with devastating asbestos-related conditions caused by being exposed in our schools.

“It is vital that we trace Janet Gent’s co-workers to enable a full investigation to be carried out into her history of asbestos exposure.

“Mrs Gent needs and deserves to see justice done and we are committed to helping her achieve this.”

If anybody can provide assistance regarding working conditions at either Walton High School or any of the schools where Mrs Gent worked, they are asked to contact Joanne Candlish as a matter of urgency on 0151 224 1644.