Family Of Man Who Fell Victim To Deadly Asbestos Dust Appeals For Witnesses

Widow Urges Husband's Former Workmates To Come Forward


The family of a man who died after he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer of the chest lining caused by exposure to deadly asbestos dust are appealing for his ex-workmates to come forward to help in their battle for justice. 

Devoted husband and dad of one, Melvin Urwin from Stanley, County Durham was diagnosed with the asbestos-related condition mesothelioma in August last year. Tragically he died just three months later in November.

His health problems may have started due to time spent working for Consett Iron Company (which later became part of British Steel) as a fuel serviceman’s keeper from 1969 to 1970 which involved distributing fuel to different parts of the company. As part of his role, Melvin would handle asbestos rope and asbestos hosepipes.

Isobel Lovett, an asbestos expert in the Newcastle office of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who is representing Melvin’s family in their battle for justice, explained: “Throughout the course of his employment Melvin was never warned about the dangers of working with asbestos nor was he ever provided with breathing equipment which could have protected him.

“Through no fault of his own he lost his life to a terrible disease and I’d urge anyone who can shed any light on conditions at any of his former workplaces to get in touch. Even better if anyone remembers working with Melvin at his time spent at the above workplaces please let us know.”

Commenting on her family’s ordeal Melvin’s wife, Maureen, 65, said: “Mel and I were both home birds and were looking forward to enjoying a long and happy retirement together.

“He did all the decorating on the house we moved into four years ago - it was supposed to be our retirement home. But in the end all of his hard work was for nothing as he never got to spend time enjoying it which is just heartbreaking.

“If anyone can help us to shed light on how he came into contact with asbestos, I’d urge them to get in touch. As a family we are desperate to know more about how Melvin became so ill with this terrible disease.”

Anyone with information should contact Isobel Lovett on 0191 2790104
or email