Widow Unable To Enjoy Retirement With Husband Seeks Assistance From Former Colleagues

Specialist Asbestos Lawyers Appeal To Former Colleagues For Information

21.02.2013

The widow of a former apprentice engineer who worked in various buildings in Cambridge and Marshalls Airport is appealing to her husband’s former colleagues to come forward with information after he died of an asbestos-related disease.

Grandfather Brian Copping died of mesothelioma in July last year aged 65, less than one month after being diagnosed with the disease.  Mesothelioma is a cancer in the lining of the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos dust.

He left behind his grieving wife of 39 years Marion who has now instructed asbestos experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to help investigate whether his former employers were responsible for his illness.

She is backing calls from the firm for Brian’s former colleagues at T R Freeman & Son, a heating company, to get in touch as they may hold vital information about the working practices at the various sites Brian was contracted to work at.

Brian worked as an apprentice heating and plumbing engineer for T R Freeman in 1962 and 1963, working on a number of sites including Marshall’s airport and various buildings in Cambridge.

Rosemary Giles, an asbestos illness expert at Irwin Mitchell’s London office representing Marion, said: “Brian told Marion he remembered working alongside men at various sites who were mixing asbestos powder into a paste and using it to insulate pipes.

“He remembered it created large amounts of dust and because he was given no protective clothing to wear he couldn’t help but inhale it.

“We would now like to hear from Brian’s former colleagues as they may have additional information about the presence of asbestos and working conditions that could help demonstrate that the practices at T R Freeman were unsafe.

“Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related disease for which there is sadly no cure. Despite employers being well aware of the risks associated with the material since the 1950s and 60s, we are still regularly contacted by families whose lives have been left devastated because of it.”

Brian began suffering from weight loss and fatigue in May 2012 and a month later tests confirmed he was suffering from the incurable cancer. His condition quickly worsened and he died at the start of July.

His widow Marion, aged 59 of Haddenham, Ely, said: “When we were told Brian’s diagnosis we were shocked but we had no idea it would take him so quickly. We had no time to come to terms with it. 

“Over the years, Brian told me how remembered breathing in asbestos dust on various jobs when he worked for T R Freeman in Cambridge and I’m hoping his former colleagues will get in touch as they may have extra information that could help to prove that T R Freeman were responsible for his illness.

“Brian should still be here and we should be enjoying our retirement together.  Sadly, that can no longer happen because of something that he was exposed to so long ago.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise related to mesothelioma