Family of Sheffield cancer victim appeal for witnesses

Asbestos related cancer compensation


A Sheffield widow is searching for witnesses to support her claim for compensation following her husband's death from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.

Joan Stothard of Occupation Lane, Hackenthorpe, believes her husband, George, contracted incurable mesothelioma between 1970 and 1996, while employed as a sewage worker with Sheffield Corporation, based at its Olive Grove depot.

Asbestos related cancer solicitors

Martyn Hayward, of the personal injury team at national law firm Irwin Mitchell, based at its offices in Sheffield's Riverside, is preparing court proceedings against the corporation on behalf of Mrs Stothard.

It is alleged that Mr Stothard came into contact with asbestos when excavating underground pipework, insulated with asbestos lagging.

Mrs Stothard said: "My husband worked alongside colleagues excavating damaged heating and water pipes, running from boiler houses close to estates. His job involved exposing the pipework, so that it could be repaired or replaced by fitters."

Exposed to asbestos at work

"When the piping was exposed, the lagging was often found to be in a poor condition after being buried underground for a long time. It easily crumbled when disturbed covering George's overalls and causing him to inhale the dust while he removed and disposed of the pipes. No protective facemasks were provided and no warnings of the dangers involved were ever given."

Leaving four children and 14 grandchildren, Mr Stothard was 62 when he died on 21 February 2004, just four months after being diagnosed.

Said Mrs Stothard: "George's symptoms began in June 2003, after he experienced breathing difficulties and his doctor arranged for various tests, including a biopsy and CT scan, at The Royal Hallamshire Hospital in October 2003. The results were conclusive and he remained in hospital until early November undergoing further treatment."

He was admitted again in February 2004 for surgery to drain fluid from his lungs. Mr Stothard was discharged three days later and died at home later that month.

Mr Hayward said: "Mr Stothard worked with many colleagues during his 25 years with Sheffield Corporation, many of whom might also have been exposed to deadly asbestos while carrying out similar duties.

"The family is convinced that his exposure to asbestos dust and fibres at work led to his death. We are hoping to trace George's colleagues who can provide further information about the materials that were used in these products and help Mrs Stothard and her family start rebuilding their lives.

"In addition, we'd also be interested to hear from anyone who worked at the Corporation who might be able to provide information, even if they didn't know George."

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