Grandmother Seeks Former Colleagues After Being Diagnosed With Disease That Killed Husband

Industrial Illness Experts Say Tragic Case Highlights Devastating Impact Asbestos Exposure Has On Families


A grandmother who has been diagnosed with the same asbestos related cancer which killed her husband eight years ago is appealing to her former colleagues for help as she launches a battle to find answers about why the disease has ruined two lives in the family.

Joy Reuben, 77, from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2011 and believes she may have come into contact with deadly asbestos dust whilst she worked as a product line supervisor for the Metal Box Ltd factory in the town between about 1971 and 1993.

Industrial illness specialists at Irwin Mitchell representing her would like to speak to any of Joy’s former colleagues who worked at the factory as they may hold vital information that will help provide answers as to where she was exposed to asbestos.

Tragically, Joy’s husband Henry died of mesothelioma in 2004 after being exposed to asbestos when he worked at English Brothers.

Joy, a mother-of-one and grandmother-of-two, said: “It was so hard for the family to see Henry suffer and when he passed away we found it very hard to come to terms with. I had so many questions about why it had happened. I knew he had been exposed to asbestos dust at work but none of us ever suspected he would develop such a terrible disease as a result.

“It just feels so unlucky that I too have now been diagnosed with the same horrendous disease and my family now have to watch me suffer. We were never warned about the dangers of asbestos at Metal Box and were never provided with any protective clothing. I had no idea being exposed to it back then would end up ruining my life too.

“The disease leaves me very poorly and with very little energy to spend time with my family. I used to love looking after my two grandsons for my daughter Lynda but I’m no longer able to do that and she has to help me. The disease is robbing me of my independence. I hope anyone who worked at Metal Box between 1971 and 1993 gets in touch as even the smallest bit of information could help.”

David Cass, an asbestos related disease expert at Irwin Mitchell is representing Joy. He said: “This is a tragic case with Mrs Reuben’s husband dying of the same horrendous disease and it highlights how employers’ negligence regarding asbestos can be devastating for families.

“Mrs Reuben had just got her life back on track following the loss of her husband which she found very hard to come to terms with, when she became ill herself and was diagnosed with the same disease.

“Understandably her family wants answers about why they will lose another family member as a result of something that happened at work many years ago.

“I am appealing to anyone that used to work at Metal Box Factory LTD between 1971 and 1993 to get in touch as they may be able to provide answers to the questions held by a devastated family.

“Mesothelioma victims’ employers knew the risks involved with asbestos but continued to put the lives of their workforce in danger rather than deal with the presence of such a deadly material as asbestos in their workplace. It’s unacceptable that anyone should be left with a fatal illness because their health was not protected at work – and we will fight for justice for each and every one of our clients who is a victim of this dreadful disease.”

Anyone who is able to help should call David Cass on 0114 274 4559 or email