Widow Desperate For Answers After Husband Dies From Asbestos-Related Cancer

Industrial Illness Lawyers Appeal To Former Factory Colleagues To Help Battle For Justice


By Helen MacGregor

The devastated widow of a retired Shropshire factory worker who died of an asbestos-related disease is asking his former colleagues for help after being left with unanswered questions about why her husband died.

Anthony Felton was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, in September 2010 and died just seven months later on the 4th March 2011, aged 63.

The grandfather-of-one, from Newport in Shropshire, worked as a quality inspector on a production line at a Portsmouth factory which made flight data recorders, or ‘black’ boxes, for airplanes and army vehicles. He was never warned that he was coming into contact with asbestos but due to the boxes needing to be fire resistant it is probable that asbestos was used in the manufacturing process.

Now, with the help of specialist asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, his widow Jean Felton is appealing to her husband’s former colleagues to get in touch as she believes they may hold vital evidence as to how he came into contact with the lethal asbestos fibres.

Anthony worked for The Plessey Company Limited at the organisation’s site in Titchfield, near Portsmouth between 1975 and 1976 and when he briefly returned in 1981 to 1982.

Anthony was never provided with a mask or warned of the dangers of the asbestos dust that ultimately cost him his life.

Iain Shoolbred, an industrial illness expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office representing Jean, said: "It is vital for Anthony’s family to obtain answers about why he unexpectedly fell ill and we need former workers who have information about the working practices and presence of asbestos at The Plessey Company Ltd between 1975 to 1976 and 1981 to 1982 to come forward to help with our enquires.

“He was never made aware of the fact he was working in such close proximity to asbestos, but before he died it was the only place he could think that he would have worked with it.

“Anthony should have had a long and happy retirement ahead of him spent with his family but, because of being exposed to a deadly material through no fault of his own, it has been taken from him and left his family distraught. His family need to see justice before they can begin to come to terms with the fact he is no longer here.”

Jean said: “Anthony was in the prime of his life and we were looking forward to many more happy years together so I’m heartbroken that he is no longer here.

“He was a great husband and a loving father and the whole family miss him dearly. I just hope that what happened to him serves as a warning to other workers and, in particular, employers.

“When he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, we were in complete shock, we didn’t even realise he had worked with asbestos. Anthony had to think long and hard to come up with a possible reason for why he was ill.

“I just hope people get in touch because we have so many questions and any bit of information, no matter how small, might just help us piece together what went wrong and bring about some justice for his death.”

Anyone who can help with any information is asked to contact Iain Shoolbred at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or email iain.shoolbred@irwinmitchell.com.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to mesothelioma claims