Widow In Battle For Justice After Former Ship Worker Killed By Asbestos

Expert Lawyers Seeking Justice For Engineer And Fitter Who Had Also Previously Fought Off Bladder Cancer

01.11.2012

The widow of an engineer and fitter who died from asbestos-related cancer is appealing to his former colleagues to come forward and help expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in her battle for justice.

Philip Martin, from Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, died in June 2011 aged 75, just a month after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to deadly asbestos dust. His wife of 52 years, Doris, says she was heartbroken as his death came 12 years after he had recovered from bladder cancer.

It is believed the father-of-two came into contact with asbestos during his time as an engineer in the Merchant Navy, where he repaired leaking pipes lagged with asbestos on ships owned by the Shields-based Lowland Tanker Company, Mungo Cambello and William Corey between 1957 and 1963.

It is thought that he also came into contact with asbestos lagging while working as a fitter on kilns for BSC Brick Plant in Jarrow in the 1960s and 70s, and again while removing asbestos lagging from the pipework on ships for A&P Appledore Ltd based on Tyneside in the 1990s.

Doris, 74, of York Avenue, has instructed industrial illness experts from Irwin Mitchell and together they are appealing for Philip’s former colleagues to share information about the working conditions he endured during his employment.

Isobel Lovett, an industrial disease specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Philip worked hard to provide for his family throughout his career and was immensely proud of the work he did while in the Merchant Navy and the companies he worked for. Through no fault of his own he was exposed to asbestos which eventually led to his death.

“It is such a tragedy that this exposure to asbestos earlier in life has taken Philip away from his wife and children when he should have been enjoying his retiremment.

“If anyone served on the M V Kurdistan, Boarder Reiver, Corsea and Kepwick Hall ships between 1957 and 1963 or has any information regarding the working conditions on board during that time, then we would urge them to get in touch so we can help Doris achieve justice for her husband.

“Equally we are keen to speak to anybody who worked for BSC Brick Plant between 1963 and 1978, or A&P Appledore Ltd between 1994 and 1995, to help us understand when and how Philip was exposed to the deadly dust.”

Throughout his career, Philip was not provided with a protective mask and he was not warned that asbestos could harm his health.

Philip was diagnosed with mesothelioma in May 2011 when doctors carried out a biopsy on his lung after he suffered from breathing problems after a fall. His condition quickly worsened and Philip sadly passed away just a month after his diagnosis.

Philip’s widow Doris, said: “It was heartbreaking to see the effects that asbestos had on him. After he was diagnosed, his health deteriorated really quickly and it became hard for him to even get out of bed because he couldn’t breathe properly. He became completely dependent on his oxygen supply and he relied on me to help him get him up and about round the house.

“Our son Ian would come round every night to help out and do all the jobs that Philip used to do, and our daughter Jeanette would travel up from Kent every weekend to provide support for us.

“It is unbelievable to think that the hard work he put in throughout his career led to this horrible, incurable disease. Philip was always a real fighter and had previously battled bladder cancer. I am sure that if he hadn’t been exposed to asbestos he would be fighting fit and enjoying life with us today.”

If you have any information on the companies mentioned please contact Isobel Lovett on 0191 279 0104 or email Isobel.Lovett@IrwinMitchell.com.