Salford's Penny Garner sues firm over asbestos allegations

A woman who believes her cancer was caused by asbestos exposure as a child during demolition operations near her school, is taking legal action.

Penny Garner, 45, from Salford, has the lung condition mesothelioma, which is linked to asbestos dust.

Her lawyer believes she was exposed at Seedley Primary School in the 1970s, as a nearby swimming pool was demolished.

Demolition firm P McGuinness and Co denies liability and Salford Council has not commented on the case.

Ms Garner, from Peel Green, was diagnosed with the terminal condition in 2011 and says she could not believe it when the consultant asked if she had worked with asbestos.

'Shock over diagnosis'

"I didn't really know what it was, I had never heard of it and then when I was told it was from asbestos, I was even more shocked," she said.

The alleged link was discovered when her solicitor Neil Fisher, who could not find any link between where Ms Garner had worked and asbestos, questioned her about her school.

A family member recalled the demolition of the swimming pool.

Mr Fisher, a specialist in mesothelioma and asbestos illness compensation claims, said a medical report found a link between Ms Garner's illness and exposure to asbestos.

He said: "Dr Rudd, a leading expert in asbestos-related diseases conducted a number of tests such as X-rays, scans and biopsies on Ms Garner.

"He is satisfied if the witness evidence of the levels of asbestos during the demolition is accepted by the court, he accepts the link between that exposure and Ms Garner's illness."

Ardwick-based building firm P McGuinness and Co, denied the claim and said it will defend itself at the High Court hearing which begins on 13 February in Liverpool.

Salford City Council said it will not comment until after the case has been resolved.

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