Search For Ex-Workmates After Bridgwater Man Dies From Asbestos Exposure

Exposed to asbestos

12.03.2009

The widow of a Bridgwater man, who died after being exposed to asbestos, has launched an appeal for his ex-work colleagues to come forward to help in her legal battle for compensation.

64-year-old Mr Donald Close, formerly of North Petherton, Bridgwater, died on 4 May 2007 from mesothelioma, the fatal asbestos-related lung disease.

Mr Close is believed to have been exposed to asbestos dust while working for H W Pollard & Sons between 1958 and 1964.

Mr Close worked as an apprentice carpenter/joiner for five years and then worked for the firm for a further year as a qualified carpenter, after completion of his apprenticeship. Mr Close, known as “Douggie” to many of his work colleagues, is believed to have worked with asbestos on many jobs, largely on commercial premises, in and around the Bridgwater area.

Later in his career whilst working for Roberts Brothers/Concept Homes between 1964 and 1974, it is alleged that Mr Close was also exposed to asbestos dust.

During this period, Mr Close worked as a carpenter and joiner on a number of buildings including The North Petherton County Infant School, The Pig & Whistle Pub in Bridgwater, Culmhead Radio Station and St Audries Bay Holiday Camp. As part of his job Mr Close had to cut asbestos sheets and asbestos guttering during various construction projects.

An inquest into Mr Close's death was concluded on 30 August 2007 when his cause of death was found to be mesothelioma and a verdict was given of death by industrial disease.

Mr Close’s widow, Carol, said: "My husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2005 and died in May 2007. This terrible illness took him from us very prematurely. He suffered greatly in the last months of his life and he left behind a family who miss him terribly.

"This cruel illness deprived Don of the retirement he had looked forward to and had worked so hard for. He was looking forward to spending more time with his family, travelling, playing golf and being a Granddad to his only Grandson, Hugo, who was born just five weeks before he died.

"His loss has left a huge hole within the family. His Grandson will never know or experience the love and fun he would have had with his Granddad who doted on him so very much"

Mrs Close added: "Until this legal claim for justice is concluded, I cannot contemplate being able to move on and put him peacefully to rest."

Tariq Khan, a solicitor with national law firm Irwin Mitchell is representing Mrs Close. He said: "This is an extremely sad case as Donald Close had devoted loyal service to a company that failed to take adequate steps to protect his health.

"Don died from an industrial disease and it is vital, in order for his family to obtain some recompense for the debilitating illness from which he died, that people who have information concerning the working practices and contracts undertaken by H W Pollard & Sons, Robert Brothers/Concept Homes Limited and details of their insurers, during the period 1958 to 1964 and 1964 to 1974, to respectively come forward to assist us with our enquiries."

Anyone who remembers Mr Close and may be able to help in this matter can contact Tariq Khan at IM on 0370 1500 100 or tariq.khan@irwinmitchell.com