Family’s Search For Metro Cammell Ex-Workers After Black Country Man Dies From Asbestos Exposure

Loved Ones Appeal For Help

07.03.2011

The family of a former Black Country worker, who died from an asbestos related cancer, are hoping his former workmates may be able to provide vital information, in their battle to find out how he was exposed to lethal asbestos fibres.

79 year old Victor Wood from Brierley Hill first became unwell in December 2008. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma the asbestos related cancer of the chest lining and sadly passed away less than two months later on 16th February 2009.  An inquest into his death confirmed that an industrial disease had contributed to his death.

Mr Wood, who had been married for 57 years to his wife, Joan, also leaves behind three sons, three daughters and eleven grandchildren.

Now his family are determined to fight for justice and have launched a search to find his ex-work mates who may be able to provide additional information regarding working conditions and the presence of asbestos.

Mr Wood, who for much of his working life, lived in Tividale, worked as an electrician for Washwood Heath-based carriage-makers Metro Cammell and it is during his employment with them that it is believed he came into contact with lethal asbestos fibres.

Hayley Hill, a workplace illness expert with Irwin Mitchell, explained: “Even in the 1950s and 60s employers knew the risks associated with asbestos but Mr Wood was not provided with a face mask or warned of the dangers. We do know from a number of previous successful claims we have brought against this particular company that, during the time Victor worked there, Metro Cammell used blue asbestos to insulate carriages. Loose asbestos powder was mixed in a large drum and workers also removed bits of dried lagging so that they could install fixtures and electrical services.

“It would be particularly helpful to hear from any former Metro Cammell workers who can recall working practices at the Washwood Heath site at any time, but particularly between 1959 and 1961 or in addition, anyone who worked alongside Victor at Metro Cammell.”

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr Wood’s son, Paul, commented: “Dad had always been a very fit man. In his youth he had been a keen footballer and even in his retirement he kept active doing the gardening and playing golf. The diagnosis of mesothelioma was a huge shock and his death has left a terrible hole in all our lives. He and Mum had been looking forward to celebrating their 60th anniversary together in April 2012. Since Dad passed away her health has sadly suffered too. It’s shocking to think that his death is a result of being exposed to asbestos at work.”

In order to gain justice for Mr Wood’s family, anyone who worked at Metro Cammell between 1959 and 1961 is asked to contact Hayley Hill at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors on 0370 1500 100 or via hayley.hill@irwinmitchell.com