Family’s Battle For Justice Following Stoke Worker’s Asbestos Cancer Death

Search For Ex-Colleagues Launched

14.02.2011

The family of a Stoke worker, who died after being exposed to asbestos, has launched a search for former colleagues who may be able to help in their battle for justice.

51 year old Ian Rosson from Bradeley in Stoke on Trent had suffered with breathlessness for several years. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incurable asbestos related cancer of the chest, in early May 2008 and sadly passed away just weeks later on 30 May.

An inquest into Mr Rosson’s death, held on 31 July 2008 before HM Coroner for Stoke on Trent and North Staffs, Ian Smith, recorded a verdict of industrial disease.

Mr Rosson leaves behind his wife of more than 30 years Susan, as well as two sons and three grandchildren.

Now his family are determined to fight for justice and have launched a search to find ex-workmates who may be able to provide additional information regarding working conditions at a number of building sites where Mr Rosson worked.

Mr Rosson worked as a labourer for two local builders, both of which have since ceased trading. From 1974 to 1977, Ian worked for Toft Johnson Construction Ltd based in Chesterton, near Newcastle under Lyme. During the time Ian worked for them he was involved in building and refurbishment works on a number of sites including local schools. He also worked at various ceramic firms in the Pot Banks area of Stoke.

In the early 1980s Mr Rosson worked for F Clay & Sons contractors based in Wolverhampton Road, Stafford. The firm employed more than 200 people and undertook local council work, contracting out their employees to renovate schools and other council-owned buildings.

Workplace illness expert, Iain Shoolbred, from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, is representing Mr Rosson’s family in their legal battle for justice. He commented: “Mesothelioma is an asbestos related cancer for which there is sadly no cure. Although it can take upwards of 20 years from exposure to onset of the illness, once diagnosed it can be very aggressive and painful. Its effects have been tragic for Ian and also for the family he leaves behind.

“In order to gain justice for the Rosson family, we are trying to trace former colleagues who may be able to recall working conditions at the time. I would be particularly interested to hear from anyone who can recall working practices at any of the sites contracted out to Toft Johnson in the 1970s and also F Clay & Sons in the early 1980s.”

Mr Rosson’s son, Craig, explained: “Dad was such a hard working man all his life and it is so upsetting to think that it was work which led to this terrible illness.

“He had always been so fit and active. He was a very sociable person with many friends who lived life to the full and used to love his foreign holidays to Spain and Greece.

“We first noticed he wasn’t quite his usual self when he began to suffer from shortness of breath in 2006. At first we didn’t think it was anything to worry about but as his condition worsened he had a number of tests and finally, in May 2008, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. We were all absolutely devastated by the news and his death has come as a huge shock to the whole family.”

Anyone who can assist with information regarding working practices with Toft Johnson Construction or F Clay & Son Ltd, or at any of the sub-contracted Mr Rosson worked for, should contact Iain Shoolbred at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors on 0370 1500 100 or contact iain.shoolbred@irwinmitchell.com