Engineer Diagnosed With Mesothelioma On Wedding Anniversary

Specialists Helping Man In Battle For Justice

28.04.2011

An installation engineer, Frederick Sidney Vincent, age 76 from Torquay in Devon has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the chest lining caused by exposure to asbestos.

Mr Vincent is married, with two daughters and five grandchildren and was diagnosed with this cruel illness on the day of his 50th wedding anniversary on 4th March 2011.

Frederick had worked for BT based in Torquay as an installation engineer for a total of 30 years, where he came across asbestos during the course of his work.  He spent a lot of his time in the telephone exchanges in the Devon.  A great deal of asbestos was used in these exchanges for fire insulation purposes. 

From 1950 to 1953, at the age of 15, Frederick worked as a Telegram Boy for the Post Office in Torquay.  During his employment there, he was responsible for conducting the monthly fire drills and as part of this had to shake out the asbestos blanket.  He was issued with a motorcycle so that he could deliver his telegrams.  This had asbestos break pads.  When cleaning the bike he remembers blowing the white asbestos fibres from the back wheel. 

Between 1959 and 1962 Mr Vincent was exposed to more asbestos whilst working for the largest employer in Paignton, Standard Telephones and Cables.  There was a lot of asbestos in this factory, particularly in the sub floor area where all of the old pipes were lagged with asbestos which was crumbling and in poor condition.

Helen Grady, from the Bristol office of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, who is representing Mr Vincent in his legal battle for justice explained: “Even in the 1960s and 70s employers knew of the risks associated with asbestos and the dangers of inhaling lethal fibres.

“However, Frederick’s employer never warned him about these dangers or provided him with breathing equipment which could have protected him.

“As there can be a delay of 20 years or more, between exposure and the onset of symptoms, many workers like Frederick are only now making the terrible discovery that their health has been affected because of exposure to asbestos.

“These workers had a basic right to go to work and earn a living without having their health put at risk.

“Although nothing can turn back the clock for Frederick we are determined to fight for justice for him and other workers in the South West who are the innocent victims of poor workplace health and safety.”