Heartbroken Son Of Labourer Who Died Of Asbestos Cancer Pays Tribute

Industrial Illness Experts Call For Employers To Remember The Importance Of Protecting Workers

05.07.2012

The son of a former pipe fitter’s assistant who died after contracting an asbestos related disease has joined calls from asbestos related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to remember the victims and their families whose lives have been affected by the deadly mineral.

It comes as the country marks Action Mesothelioma Day on 6 July - an annual event that raises awareness of the threat posed by the asbestos related cancer and remembers those who have suffered as a result of it.

Paul and Neil Ellis lost their father Nigel, from Edgware, in May after a year-long battle with mesothelioma caused by exposure to lethal dust and fibres whilst he worked as a pipe fitter’s mate alongside asbestos laggers at Northwick Park Hospital in the 1960s.

With the help of asbestos specialists at Irwin Mitchell Nigel successfully won a battle for justice against his former employers Sulzer Bros (London) Ltd and he was awarded an undisclosed settlement but he died five months later, aged 64, leaving his two sons heartbroken.

Alice Humphreys, an asbestos related disease expert from Irwin Mitchell’s London office represented him and said: “Nigel’s death shows the tragic consequences asbestos exposure has on individuals and their families.

“Nigel should be enjoying time with his loved ones but this has sadly been taken from him.

“We handle many mesothelioma cases every year and each one is heart-breaking. The hardest thing for everyone concerned is that the majority of people now suffering from this aggressive, terminal illness were negligently exposed to asbestos by their employers many years ago.

“Action Mesothelioma Day is a time for us all to remember those affected by this terrible cancer and learn lessons about the importance of protecting employees’ health and safety in the workplace.”

Nigel installed pipes and radiators for a central heating system at Northwick Park Hospital in 1968. He worked alongside laggers who mixed asbestos powder and water into a paste which they then applied to pipes, and he had to sweep up the asbestos dust that had fallen onto the floor.

His son Neil, 39, from Borehamwood, said: "When dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma we were all in utter shock. He’d been poorly for a while and struggled with his breathing but we never imagined it would be something so serious.

"He deteriorated very quickly which was hard to watch but when he received the compensation he was determined to use it to help his loved ones and was very generous with it.

"It was after that he rapidly went downhill. We’re still in shock that he’s no longer here. He should be enjoying a long and happy retirement but that was robbed from him.

"We’ll be thinking of Dad more than ever on Action Mesothelioma Day as well as remembering all the other victims and their families who have suffered tragedy after contracting the disease."