Widow Appeals For Information From Former Workers Of United Molasses Limited

Family Call For Help In Battle For Justice


The wife of a former lorry driver who died after a battle with an asbestos-related lung cancer is appealing for her husband’s former colleagues to come forward and help with an investigation into his death.

Arnold “Arnie” Megson, from Hemmingborough, in East Yorkshire, died aged 72 on 9 December 2009, a few months after being diagnosed with the asbestos related terminal lung disease, mesothelioma. 

Mr Megson’s wife, Audrey, believes her husband was exposed to asbestos while working as a lorry driver for United Molasses, based at their depots in Hull and Selby. Mr Megson travelled the country to deliver molasses to mills and depots between 1969 and 1980.

Industrial illness experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell are conducting an investigation into conditions at United Molasses on behalf of Mr Megson’s family, and are looking for former employees to help provide potentially vital information.

Mrs Megson said: “We were absolutely devastated when we heard that Arnold had contracted mesothelioma, and we all miss him terribly. 

“He was a family man who loved spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was always active with gardening and played golf on a regular basis. We had only just celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary in the year that he died.

“You expect to be protected from something as dangerous and toxic as asbestos, yet Arnold was never provided with a facemask or warned that inhaling asbestos dust and fibres could lead to his death. 

“Even though his illness was quick, only a matter of months, he went through a lot of treatment and suffered so much.  To know there is nothing you can do to help is just gut-wrenching. It makes you feel angry and helpless.”

Mrs Megson is appealing for former colleagues and employees at United Molasses to come forward and help with information into the working conditions at the firm.

Ben Mitchell, a solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s industrial illness team, said: “Mesothelioma is a devastating form of cancer and sadly it is incurable. Unfortunately, as the disease has such a long incubation period from when someone first ingests asbestos dust to when the disease first surfaces, and in turn the subsequent legal claim is made against their past employers, this can cause significant problems. 

“As the symptoms can take 20 to 30 years or even longer to develop, it is often be the case that employees have moved on or the structure of the company has changed or it has moved. As a consequence, finding witnesses can be extremely difficult.

“At Irwin Mitchell we care passionately about our clients and want to help them achieve justice. If anybody thinks they may be able to help I would ask them to contact me as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant they believe the information may be.”
Anyone who is able to help should contact Ben Mitchell at ben.mitchell@irwinmitchell.com or on 0113 394 6751.