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Witness appeal following mesothelioma death

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Witness appeal following mesothelioma death

The wife of a former Ford Dagenham employee who died of an asbestos-related cancer is calling on his former colleagues to come forward.

The man was 62 when he died of mesothelioma. Now his wife is asking for information from others who worked at the factory to see whether he may have been exposed to the deadly particles while he worked at the factory - or even as a child while helping to wash his dad’s dusty work clothes.

The man dad joined the factory in 1954. He worked in the foundry and block department as a labourer, oiler and greaser until 1982.

When the man was growing up, he and his mother would wash his father’s work clothes, which would be covered in dust. The man’s father later developed asbestosis, a lung condition caused by heavy exposure to asbestos.

The man himself spent time working at the factory, taking on a job in the press shop between 1974 and 1976.

Sadly, he passed away from mesothelioma in June 2017.

His wife said: “My husband was a fit and healthy 62-year-old but this disease took all of that away from him.

“It was almost as if he’d aged 20 years in a matter of months. It was impossible to watch.”

The Ford factory opened in 1931 and at its peak, employed around 40,000 people.

Following  his death, the man’s widow instructed a specialist asbestos disease solicitor to pursue a claim for compensation. Her solicitors are now seeking assistance in finding how the man may have come into contact with asbestos.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive, treatment-resistant cancerous tumour which primarily affects the pleura (lungs) and peritoneum (stomach). More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK. Most cases that are diagnosed tend to be in people aged 60 to 80, and men tend to be more commonly affected than women.

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a general term used for a group of fibrous minerals known for their thermal resistance, strength and acoustic insulation. Several types of asbestos were commonly used commercially such as blue asbestos (crocidolite), brown asbestos (amosite) and white asbestos (chrysotile).

The symptoms of mesothelioma can often take up to 40 years to develop and most commonly present as: a persistent cough, breathlessness, wheezing, chest pain, fatigue and weight loss. In cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, symptoms could include stomach pain, stomach swelling and nausea. It is most commonly diagnosed on chest xrays, CT scans and by taking biopsies.

Johnathan Steventon-Kiy, specialist industrial disease lawyer, says:

“Sadly cases of mesothelioma are common in those who worked in commercial trades such as electricians, plumbers, boiler makers, building and construction workers and any other trades in which asbestos was commonly used. It can also affect the families of those who used asbestos such as a spouse who may have washed dusty clothes/overalls. The effects of mesothelioma are devastating and it is important that an experienced specialist asbestos disease solicitor assists the Claimant, or their estate, to ensure that the correct amount of compensation is received. The specialist solicitors in Biscoes Industrial Disease team have many years of experience pursuing these sorts of cases.”


Contact our specialist personal injury, medical negligence and industrial disease solicitors on 0800 413 4631 or visit for more information. You can also follow us on twitter using the handle @biscoesmedneg