Widower Continues Battle For Justice In Wife’s Name After Asbestos Death

Lawyer Appeals For Workers To Come Forward To Help Family’s Battle for Justice

03.08.2012


The devoted husband of a woman who died from an asbestos related cancer is appealing for his former work colleagues to help with an investigation into working conditions as it is believed she came into contact with the deadly dust while washing his work clothes.

Maureen Whittaker, a mother of three and a grandmother of four, died from mesothelioma on 27 November last year, aged 58. It is believed Maureen’s health problems were caused by the contact she had with her husband’s work clothes, which were often contaminated with asbestos dust.

Maureen’s husband Peter Whittaker, 60, of Plumpton in Penrith, Cumbria, is working with asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell as he seeks justice for his late wife. He is joining lawyers at the firm in appealing for people who may have worked alongside him to get in touch and help provide information about the working conditions he endured.

Peter believes he came into contact with asbestos at two different companies during his career as a plumbing and heating engineer.

Peter believes he came into contact with asbestos while working as a plumber for Merseyside Plumbing Company Ltd in Liverpool, between 1971 and 1974. Peter was one of 20 to 30 employees who worked on new buildings sites in the city, including the Liverpool Teaching Hospital (now the Royal Liverpool Hospital) and the Royal Insurance Building, Hope Street, Liverpool.

He then went on to work for Matthew Hall Mechanical Services, based in Tottenham Court Road in London. Again, Peter worked at the Liverpool Teaching Hospital.
Isobel Lovett, an asbestos law specialist who works at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, is representing Peter. She said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer which can take 40 years to develop. Companies in the 1960s and 1970s knew the dangers of working with or close to asbestos but unfortunately too many did not provide adequate protection for their employees, and in turn their families.”

Peter says it’s heartbreaking to think that Maureen may have been subjected to asbestos via the clothes he wore during his career at these three companies.

He said: “Maureen was such a lively, fun loving person and was really healthy until she became ill with mesothelioma. She was a keen swimmer and shortly before her diagnosis we went on holiday to Cornwall and she was swimming confidently off the coast.

“It’s hard to believe that just months after she could hardly walk as she got so breathless and was completely drained of all her energy. It was heartbreaking to see her robbed of her health, independence and ultimately her life. It’s also devastating to think she may have contracted this terrible illness after washing the clothes I wore to work.

“If anyone can help us with more information about the working conditions I’d urge them to get in touch with Irwin Mitchell and help with our battle for justice.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at Merseyside Plumbing Company Ltd and Matthew Hall Mechanical Services, particularly at the Liverpool Teaching Hospital or the Royal Insurance Building sites, should contact Isobel Lovett at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 2790104 or email Isobel.Lovett@IrwinMitchell.com.