Widow Of Asbestos Victim Speaks Of Shock At His Sudden Death

Asbestos Disease Experts Appeal To Former Council Workers To Help Family Get Answers


The devastated wife of a former plasterer’s mate who died of an asbestos-related disease just three weeks after being told he might have cancer is appealing to his former Hornsey Borough Council workers to get in touch in the hope they can provide answers about her tragic loss.

Bob Parkinson died on 1 June 2010 of mesothelioma (a cancer in the lining of the lungs), aged just 66, leaving his wife Hazel and two children Karen, 35, and Lee, 37, who he lived with in Stevenage, heartbroken.

The family contacted asbestos experts at Irwin Mitchell to help get justice for Bob’s sudden death and are now joining calls from the firm for his former colleagues to get in touch with information about working conditions when he worked for the council in the 1960s.

Bob was exposed to asbestos when he worked for Hornsey Borough Council as a plasterer’s mate between about 1962 and 1965. He worked on a project gutting out between 200 and 300 council houses on Coppetts Wood estate in Muswell Hill, North London.

Hazel said: “I understand that Bob would have had to sweep up dust and debris before the plastering in the houses began, and that that dust and debris would have included asbestos from the fire doors, lagging and possibly the fire places that had been demolished by labourers.

“He wasn’t given a mask or warned about how dangerous asbestos is and what the consequences can be.”

At the start of May 2010 Bob went to his doctor because he had been suffering from breathlessness. About a week later he was told that he might have cancer. He underwent a biopsy which diagnosed him as having mesothelioma.

Hazel said: “We were absolutely devastated when we were told that Bob might have cancer, but had very little time to come to terms with it as he died just three weeks later on 1 June. It was such a shock. In about 1993 he had retired from working as a driver for British Aerospace and we thought we had a long and happy retirement together.

“But that has all been ruined. Although no amount of money will bring Bob back, I just hope people get in touch to help as we want to see justice done.”

Alice Humphreys, an asbestos disease expert from Irwin Mitchell’s London office representing Hazel, said: “This is a tragic case that has seen a man who was fit and healthy taken from his loved ones too soon.

“He should have had many happy years ahead of him spent with his wife and children but exposure to asbestos ruined this.

“We need his former colleagues at Hornsey Borough Council in the 1960s to get in touch, as any details about working conditions, no matter how small, could help bring justice for the family.”

Anyone who can help with any information is asked to contact Alice Humphreys at Irwin Mitchell on 0207 421 4730 or email alice.humphreys@irwinmitchell.com.