Former bus driver appeals for help after being diagnosed with mesothelioma

Ronald Hutchison, 81, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma  in July 2016.
Ronald Hutchison, 81, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2016.

A former bus driver from Wallsend, who is suffering from an asbestos-related disease, is appealing for former colleagues to help him gain answers about how he developed the illness.

Ronald Hutchison, 81, was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the lung commonly associated with asbestos exposure in July 2016.

Following the diagnosis, Ronald instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he came in contact with the deadly material and help him gain access to vital funds to support his treatment and care needs.

They are calling on anyone who worked with Ronald at Newcastle Corporation Transport Passenger Transport Authority between 1957 and 1987 to provide vital information which could help them secure justice for him. Ronald was commonly known by his work colleagues as Inspector Ron or Hutchie.

Lawyer Emma Crowther, who is representing Ronald, said: “This case is like so many we have been involved in, with our client developing mesothelioma decades after his initial exposure to asbestos.

“We are keen to know more about the working environment he faced.

“Any information could prove vital so we would urge anyone who worked with Ronald to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Ronald worked as a conductor, a trolley bus driver, an omnibus driver and an inspector. Looking back, he believes he was exposed to asbestos at the main Byker depot from where he worked.

He said: “During my time at Newcastle Corporation Transport, there was always dust and fibres in the air from the repairs being done, including changing asbestos linings on brake shoes and clutch plates.

“I also believe there was an asbestos corrugated roof on the depot which was exposed and in poor condition.”

Since developing the illness, Ronald has required more help from his family as he increasingly struggles with day-to-day tasks.

Contact Jennifer Fish at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0119 or email if you can help.