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Former youth worker dies following mesothelioma diagnosis

A former East Grinstead youth worker died after being exposed to asbestos more than 50 years ago, an inquest has heard.

The man died on 27th September 2018 at St Catherine’s Hospice. Following an inquest into his death, the coroner recorded a verdict that the man died of an industrial disease after being exposed to asbestos at work in the 1960s

In evidence read out by coroners officer he said the man worked at Weston White ltd in the 1960s. The inquest heard how the pipes in the building, believed to have been lagged with asbestos, were being removed as part of a renovation and created dust on the factory floor.

In the evidence it was heard that despite the dusty conditions, the man wasn’t given any appropriate protection or mask. His family described him as a fit and healthy man prior to his death who enjoyed reading and travelling, particularly around the UK.

The inquest heard that he began to feel unwell in 2017 and in November he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma sufferers typically have a very short prognosis periods and the man died ten months after his diagnosis at St Catherine’s Hospice. The coroner recorded a verdict that the man died of an industrial disease.

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. However, as can be seen in this example, it can affect those who work in the vicinity of asbestos particularly when it is disturbed. 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 413 463 or visit for more information. You can also follow us on twitter using the handle @biscoesmedneg


The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.